Tag Archives: equestrian competitions

Drewell Makes It Three-in-a-Row at Leipzig; Jaiser, Engelberty and Jacobs Also Top the Podium

Germany’s Pia Engelberty and Torben Jacobs were clear winners of the Pas-de Deux competition at the fifth and last qualifying round of the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2015/2016 series in Leipzig, Germany. (FEI/Daniel Kaiser)

Leipzig (GER), 16 January 2016 – Reigning European Champion, Jannis Drewell, made it a back-to-back hat-trick of wins when topping the Individual Male competition at the final qualifying leg of the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2015/2016 series on home ground in Leipzig, Germany. And Switzerland’s Simone Jäiser also stamped her authority all over the Individual Female category, with big scores securing her third success of the season.

In the Pas-de-Deux, Germany’s Pia Engelberty and Torben Jacobs reigned supreme as today’s top placings reflected precisely those achieved at the penultimate leg at Mechelen in Belgium three weeks ago. The stage is set for a thrilling final, the details of which are expected to be announced during the coming week.

On fire

Jäiser was on fire from the outset, earning a maximum artistic score of 10 from judge at C, Germany’s Jochen Schilffarth, in yesterday’s first round. Technical judges Rob de Bruin from The Netherlands and Germany’s Helma Schwarzmann also awarded impressive marks of 9.222 and 9.388 respectively to put the result beyond doubt. And today the Swiss athlete did it again, posting a mark of 8.871 to leave her on a final tally of 8.947 for a clear victory.

Germany’s Kristina Boe was runner-up on both days, while fellow-countrywoman Corinna Knauf nudged French contender, Marin Mohar, out of third place in the final analysis with a powerful performance this evening. Mohar had to settle for fourth ahead of Austria’s Yvonne Oetti in fifth, while Germany’s Regina Burgmayr filled sixth and last place in the Female category.

Jäiser’s confidence has to be at an all-time high going into the forthcoming final. Runner-up at last year’s finale and with wins at the opening leg of the current series in Madrid (ESP), at Mechelen last month and again today, she is right on top of her game. She has adjusted well to the extension of the time allowed for the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting Freestyle this season. “It has to be 20 seconds longer than for the Europeans, so we have to lengthen our programmes,” she explained. “In the beginning of the winter I felt very confident with the first part of my Freestyle, because that was the same as before and I knew it very well. However, with the additional 20 seconds I felt a bit unsure at first, but now I feel very relaxed and comfortable with the whole programme, and I just enjoy performing it!” she added.

Individual Male competition

Former World and European champion, Switzerland’s Patric Looser, had a busy day today, lunging two of the nine contenders in the Individual Male competition as well as the Pas-de-Deux winners. But it was Simone Drewell, mother of Jannis Drewell who took the sport by storm last summer with his sensational performances at the FEI European Championships in Aachen, Germany who lunged her son to victory in the Individual Male class aboard the family favourite, Diabolus.

The 24-year-old vaulter, who holds the no. 1 spot in his sport’s rankings, produced the only score over 9 in yesterday’s first round in which German riders filled the top four places. Erik Oese lined up second ahead of Daniel Kaiser in third and Viktor Brusewitz in fourth, and although Kaiser was overtaken by Brusewitz in today’s competition he still managed to hold onto third place overall.

Horse scores, as always, were vitally important, and the 14-year-old chestnut gelding, Down Under, was awarded first place in both rounds by judge at A, Germany’s Helma Schwarzmann. Lunged by Andreas Bäßle, the Hannoverian yesterday claimed top marks with Kaiser and was judged second-best during Oese’s runner-up performance, while today the situation was reversed. Drewell’s Diabolus was third-best yesterday and finished fourth today, but his human partner was in a class of his own on both occasions. Drewell’s energy-filled programme earned scores of 9.056, 9.635 and 9.287 for a total of 8.885 today, and that brought his overall total up to a massive 8.969, with Oese finishing on 8.585 and Kaiser taking third with 8.386.

Although his exceptional talent has taken him to the very top, Drewell was quick to attribute much of his success to his mother and his horse. “Diabolus has been with us for eleven years now and he is part of the family – I have worked with him since the very beginning,” the vaulter explained. “And my trainer is my mother and so the three of us know each other very well which surely is part of our success. In Leipzig I had two very good rounds; I absolutely enjoyed myself and now I am very much looking forward to the World Cup final,” said the athlete who also topped the line-up at Salzburg (AUT) and at Mechelen (BEL) last month.


Any chance Erika di Forti and Lorenzo Lupacchini might have had of overtaking the first-day winners Pia Engelberty and Torben Jacobs in the Pas-de-Deux were dashed when the Italian duo parted company with their horse, Little Louis. Lupacchini and di Forti have a distinctively balletic quality to their work, and their win at Salzburg was a little bit magical. But when they both slipped off while negotiating an early movement, the pair who finished fifth at last summer’s European Championships had to settle for a mark of 7.423, which left them a long way behind the German duo who also recorded an emphatic victory yesterday. The Italian pair made a great recovery, however, to still claim second place overall, and the grace and beauty of their partnership ensures they are a real force to be reckoned with.

There were five pairs in action, and the young French brother and sister, Simon and Lucie Chevrel, continued to show immense promise when lining up fourth overall behind Germany’s Jolina Ossenberg-Engels and Timo Gerdes. But Engelberty and Jacobs nailed the win with relative ease with the help of lunger Patric Looser and their horse, Danny Boy.

Jacobs pointed out that in this sport there is no room for error. “If you want to be successful in Vaulting nowadays you really have to perform your programme – everything has to be perfect: the music, the costumes and the performance itself. I sometimes look for hours, days, maybe even weeks to find the right music and thinking about the costumes. Last year we performed as Tarzan and Jane, but then we wanted to do something else but we wanted to stick to something mystic and a little bit bad!” he said with a laugh, “so we ended up with vampires!”

Engelberty says she is very lucky to have Jacobs as her vaulting partner. “He is very creative; he looks for the music. Of course, we then talk about it, but he invests a lot of time in searching for the right music. And he designs our costumes himself – I only have to say: ‘yes!’ or ‘no!’” she explained.

For further information on the fifth leg of the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2015/2016 series in Leipzig, Germany, visit www.engarde.de or contact Press officer Kirsten Meier, presse@engarde.de, +49 4296 748740.

Detailed results here.

The full list of qualified vaulters, calendar of events, results and standings for the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2015/2016 are available here.

Check out the schedule of for the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2015/2016 season on FEI TV here.

Series hashtag: #WorldCupVaulting

By Louise Parkes

Media contacts:

At Leipzig:

Kirsten Meier
Press Officer
+49 4296 748740


Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 46

2015 WIHS Regional Horse Show Offers Competitors a Chance to Qualify for WIHS

The WIHS Regional Horse Show will host a qualifier for the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series. Photo copyright Alden Corrigan.

Washington D.C. – October 9, 2015 – The highly anticipated 2015 WIHS Regional Horse Show & USHJA Zone 3 Finals will be hosted at Prince George’s Equestrian Center (PGEC) in Upper Marlboro, MD from Friday, October 16, to Sunday, October 18, offering local and regional riders a final opportunity to punch their qualifying ticket to show at the world-renowned Washington International Horse Show (WIHS).

Entries for the WIHS Regional Horse Show & USHJA Zone 3 Finals close Friday, October 9. View the prize list for more information at www.wihs.org/wihs-regional/. The Washington International Horse Show begins Tuesday, October 20, and continues through Sunday, October 25, at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., offering a week of elite equestrian competition showcasing the best of the hunter, jumper, and equitation disciplines.

Highlights of the WIHS Regional competition hosted at PGEC include the Maryland Horse Show Association Gittings Horsemanship Finals on Friday, October 16, beginning at 6 p.m. Grand championship honors will be awarded to the Children’s and Adult Hunters alongside the Children’s Hunter Pony division. The USHJA Zone 3 Finals will be held on Sunday, October 18, with special zone points being awarded to top place finishers.

Other highlights include the MHSA Children’s Pony Medal, presented by Oldfields School, Zone 3 Adult Amateur Hunter Finals 36 & Over, presented by the Linden Group at Morgan Stanley, and Zone 3 Large Children’s Pony Hunter Division, presented by The Saddlery.

New for 2015, the WIHS Regional Horse Show will host a qualifier for the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series, presented by Charles Owen. The Shetland ponies and their mini jockeys will compete in a race to earn their spot to compete in the feature events at Verizon Center. They will run in the indoor arena at PGEC on Friday, October 16, at 5:00 p.m. The top finishers will then compete in the finals at WIHS during its main week of competition on Thursday, October 22, and Saturday, October 24. An ice cream social will be held Friday night during the qualifying event. There will also be a pizza party on Saturday, open to all exhibitors, thanks to Buckeye Nutrition.

The fourth annual Laura Pickett Award for Excellence in Horsemanship will also be selected during the WIHS Regional competition, honoring and remembering local equestrian and trainer Laura Pickett, and will be presented to a rising adult or child rider alongside their respective trainer/s for exhibiting enthusiasm, dedication, commitment and a sense of style, bringing out the best of horse and rider combinations. The award, presented by WIHS President Vicki Lowell on Thursday night at Barn Night, will honor the many qualities for which Pickett is remembered. Nominees for the award will be asked to wear a pink armband and will be judged for their performances inside the ring and their conduct throughout the weekend. The winner will be notified by Monday, October 19, and will receive a pair of custom boots provided by Fabbri Boots.

Children’s and Adult hunters and jumpers will take center stage during the weekend, as final qualifying spots are up for grabs to compete in the WIHS Championship Finals as well as the Regional Hunter Finals at Verizon Center. The WIHS Championship Finals will feature the $10,000 WIHS Children’s Hunter Championship and the $10,000 WIHS Adult Hunter Championship on Tuesday, October 20. The $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship and the $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship will both be held on Wednesday, October 21. Regional hunter combinations who earn a qualifying spot in the WIHS Regional Hunter Finals will compete at Verizon Center on Sunday, October 25.

All of the fantastic regional competition in Upper Marlboro, MD leads up to the 57th annual Washington International Horse Show, featuring many of the nation’s top horses and riders as well as some of the world’s best international competitors. For more information, please visit www.wihs.org.

About Washington International Horse Show, www.wihs.org
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of the most prestigious equestrian sporting events in the U.S. More than 26,000 spectators attend the six-day show, which includes Olympic-level competition along with community and charity events. More than 500 top horses and riders come to D.C. from all over the globe to jump for more than a half a million dollars in prize money. Event highlights include the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, for the President’s Cup (Saturday night), The Boeing Company Puissance high jump competition on Military Night (Friday) and Kids’ Day (Saturday), a free, fun and educational community event. The Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and is recognized as a Top 25 Horse Show by the North American Riders Group. WIHS is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports.

USET Foundation Celebrates Joan and Corwith Hamill Rotunda Dedication

Brownlee O. Currey, Jr., Nancy Winter, Jonathan Hamill, Elizabeth (Betsy) Bramsen and Philip Richter.

Gladstone, NJ – June 1, 2015 – On Saturday, May 30, the dedication of the Joan and Corwith Hamill Rotunda at the United States Equestrian Team Foundation’s Hamilton Farm stables honored the family’s commitment to equestrian sport, in recognition of their remarkable $1.5 million gift to the organization.

The Illinois couple’s devotion to the cause began six decades ago, when they helped lay the groundwork for a fledgling group to fill the post-World War II gap after the U.S. Army stopped supporting U.S. equestrian teams that competed internationally.

Foundation Chairman Brownlee Currey noted that it was a special day not only for the Foundation and members of the Hamill family, but also for the “horses and riders as they train to prepare to represent the country in international competition.” In addition, he cited the benefits of the contribution for other groups that use the facility, including the Somerset Hills Pony Club. Many of the riders who have gone on to be part of U.S. teams at major competitions around the world have gotten their start in Pony Club.

Foundation trustee and treasurer Philip Richter called the gift “transformational.” He noted that many of the people on hand for the ceremony “have a special tie to this sacred place. This facility means so much to our sport.” In 2017, the foundation’s landmark stable headquarters will mark its 100th anniversary. “While the structure has remained remarkably solid, there are capital expenditures that are necessary to update and maintain this facility to the standards it deserves. This gift gets us a long way to achieving that goal,” said Richter. His grandfather, Philip Hofmann, served as a trustee of the U.S. Equestrian Team with the late Joan Hamill, whose husband, known as Corky, was a member of the finance committee.

The improvement projects the gift will help finance include rebuilding the stalls, as well as modernizing the heating and air conditioning system, starting with replacing the 100-year-old boiler.

Joan Hamill competed for the Wofford Cup with her daughter, Nancy, in the 1957 National Eventing Championships at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. That experience stimulated Joan’s interest in getting involved with the USET, which she served as a trustee from 1976 to 1984, after which she became an honorary trustee.

Another link between the past and the present was the presence of Olympic and world championships multi-medalist Jimmy Wofford, who spoke about the early years of the USET and the impact Joan Hamill had, and thanked Nancy Hamill Winter; her sister, Betsy Bramsen, and their brother, Jon Hamill, for their continuing support and involvement with the USET Foundation.

The Hamill family was squarely behind the 1959 Pan American Games when they were held in Chicago, doing everything from setting up the dressage ring to arranging social events and selling USET souvenirs. Michael Page, the individual gold medalist from those Games, also was on hand at Gladstone to renew his acquaintance with the Hamills.

Nancy Winter trained at Gladstone when she was long-listed for the 1986 World Championships, and the place means a great deal to her personally, as well as because of her parents’ efforts on the USET’s behalf. She noted her mother, who had “always been a team player” vowed to do “whatever she could for the team.”

Her parents “would be so proud to be here and see this wonderful farm and to know how well the organization has survived,” she said, before a plaque commemorating their contribution was unveiled.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the stable, the USET Foundation established “The Gladstone Fund” to preserve the legacy and the historic facility. The Hamilton Farm Stable is central to supporting the Foundation’s mission through providing a world-class facility for Olympic, Pan American and World Championship selection trials, national Championships, training sessions and special equestrian events and exhibitions.

“I cannot express enough how grateful we are to Jon, Nancy and Betsy for their generous gift from the Hamill Family Foundation in honor of their parents Joan and Corwith. They were true leaders of the USET, and it is so fitting that their legacy will be a permanent part of this iconic facility, which continues to train and prepare our riders and horses for international competition. We are proud to name the rotunda the “Joan and Corwith Hamill Rotunda,” said Bonnie B. Jenkins, Executive Director.

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.

For more information on the USET Foundation, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org.

The USET Foundation has been awarded Charity Navigators’ highest honor, a Four Star rating for good governance, sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
USET Foundation
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

Eric Lamaze and Rosana du Park Win 2nd Round of Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Series

Eric Lamaze and Rosana du Park. Photos © Sportfot.

A Million Reasons and Scott Stewart Jump to the Top in Wrenwood Farms High Performance Working Hunters

Wellington, FL – January 15, 2015 – Canada’s Eric Lamaze and Rosana du Park are now two for two in this year’s Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Series at the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). After winning the $25,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 1 in the first week of competition, the pair stepped up to win Thursday’s $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 in week two at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.

Sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty, the week’s competition continues through Sunday, January 18, featuring the $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI 2* on Saturday, January 17. The Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series will also get underway with its first two competitions of the circuit. The $10,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Welcome will be held on Saturday, January 17. The $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Equine Couture/Tuff Rider, will be held on Sunday, January 18. WEF features 12 weeks of world-class competition through March 29, awarding over $8.2 million in prize money.

Luc Musette of Belgium set the track for Thursday’s $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 in the International Arena at PBIEC with 73 entries and 13 clear rounds. Twelve of those moved on to the jump-off, where ten jumped double clear.

Kent Farrington (USA) and Amalaya Investments’ Waomi were first to go and set a blistering pace in 40.92 seconds, but were pushed from the lead moments later when Lamaze and Artisan Farms LLC’s Rosana du Park raced through the timers in 39.78 seconds. The time proved unbeatable, but Ian Millar (CAN) gave it his best effort.

Millar cleared the course in 40.75 seconds with Ariel and Susan Grange’s Dixson to take second place, pushing Farrington into third. Laura Chapot (USA) and Mary Chapot’s ISHD Dual Star jumped into fourth place in 41.60 seconds. Last to go, McLain Ward (USA) and Double H Farm’s HH Cannavaro grabbed fifth place honors with their time of 41.66 seconds.

Commenting on another winning round with Rosana du Park, Lamaze stated, “Kent was really, really fast as an opening ride, so it just sort of answered all of the questions when you had to go for it. She is naturally so quick in the air, and she was very dependable in the rollback. I was very lucky to not only turn tight after the second to last fence, but I had a very forward distance to the oxer, which I think is where I made up a bit of time.”

“When a horse is good and they are careful, everything suits them,” Lamaze said of the ten-year-old Selle Francais mare (by Kannan). “I think she is very competitive. I can ask her to go fast on a straight line or turn very sharp to anything and she gives 100%, so she is a great mare and she is going to win a lot.”

Lamaze also spoke of the day’s course set by Luc Musette, declaring, “Luc is an incredible course designer. We see a lot of him in Europe. To build these types of classes with that many in it and be restricted to 1.45m I think is very difficult. He had 13 clear, so he really got the right number. It felt bigger than 1.45m. When I walked it I thought it was a nice course, but it ended up riding quite a bit bigger because of the lines, and it was full of options everywhere. A lot of riders took different options. People were trying to solve the puzzle with their own ability with their horse, so it made it interesting.”

In week one, Lamaze and Rosana du Park won the WEF Challenge Cup out of 45 entries. This week the challenge increased to 73 entries in search of bigger prize money and FEI World Ranking points. The class was one out of 48 ranking classes throughout the circuit.

In addition to the winning portion of prize money, Lamaze was awarded the $3,000 SSG Gloves “Go Clean for the Green” bonus for the second week in a row. Each week of the WEF Challenge Series, a $3,000 bonus will be awarded to the winning rider if they are wearing SSG ‘Digital’ Riding Gloves in all rounds of competition with the SSG logo clearly visible.

Lamaze now heads on to Saturday night’s $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI 2* with Rosana du Park and hopes to continue his already winning season.

Also showing in the International Arena on Thursday, Venezuela took the top two places in the $8,000 1.45m jump-off class in the morning. Forty-seven showed with 15 clear rounds to jump-off and four double clears. Pablo Barrios and ZL Group, Inc.’s Zara Leandra were the winners in 40.23 seconds. Emanuel Andrade and AD Clouwni finished second in 40.93 seconds.

Andrade also won the High Amateur-Owner Jumper class aboard Sothis d’Ouilly with the fastest of 12 clear rounds out of 53 entries in 61.05 seconds. Catherine Tyree and Don’t Go finished second in 61.65 seconds.

A Million Reasons and Scott Stewart Jump to the Top in the Wrenwood Farms High Performance Working Hunters

For the second week in a row Dr. Betsee Parker’s A Million Reasons, ridden by Scott Stewart, has taken home championship honors in the Wrenwood Farms High Performance Working Hunters. This was A Million Reasons’ second show in the High Performance Working Hunters, having done the Second Year Green Hunters last year. “She [A Million Reasons] is a really good jumper – a great mover, beautiful, big stride. She’s like the perfect hunter,” Stewart said.

Scott Stewart and A Million Reasons
Scott Stewart and A Million Reasons

The pair turned in only top performances over the two days of competition. A Million Reasons won the handy round and the stake, along with two seconds over fences and a second in the under saddle.

Fifty Shades, owned by Meredith Lipke and shown by Sandra Ferrell, ended the day as reserve champion. Staying consistent over both days, the pair had two thirds and a first over fences and won the under saddle.

“Of course I have a soft spot in my heart for mares,” Parker smiled while holding her championship prize.

Parker was “thrilled” with A Million Reasons today. Having only owned the mare since October, Parker has a lot to smile about. Earning the Second Year Green Working Hunter championship at the National Horse Show, A Million Reasons has stayed in championship shape to start out the winter season.

“She [A Million Reasons] always surprises me! I’m always frightened when she goes in the ring,” Parker Laughed. “She has a very quiet, slow pace, but then she jumps way up in the air and way wide across the jump and she thrills you!”

While praising her horse, Parker also commented on the strong combination that Stewart and A Million Reasons make. “She [A Million Reasons] treats Scott [Stewart] like she’s his boyfriend. She loves him!” Parker exclaimed.

A Million Reasons is just as comfortable at home as she is in the show ring. Parker explained, “She is always quiet and relaxed. She is like a big puppy dog.”

After back-to-back championship weeks, A Million Reasons is going to take next week off and return to the show ring during WEF week 4. Focusing on the High Performance Working Hunters this season, Stewart plans for A Million Reasons to have a light winter.

Week two of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival continues on Friday with the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge featured in the International Arena at PBIEC. Hunter coverage continues with the Triple Crown Blankets Adult Amateur Hunter 36-49 in the Rost Arena. For full results and more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Lauren Fisher and Maddy Stover for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Ahlmann and Taloubet Are Awesome in Leipzig

Christian Ahlmann steered his 2011 series champion Taloubet Z to victory in the exciting ninth leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 Western European League. Photo: FEI/Thomas Hellmann

Leipzig (GER), 20 January 2013 – Germany’s Christian Ahlmann showed exactly why he holds No. 1 position on the Jumping World Rankings when trouncing the opposition in the ninth leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Western European League series at Leipzig, Germany today.  In the ten-horse jump-off against the clock he was in a class of his own with the brilliant Taloubet Z who set an unbeatable target when sixth to go.  And it was a spectacular hat-trick for the partnership who took the Rolex title at the 2011 Final and also won last year’s qualifier at this same venue.

Runner-up was Ireland’s Denis Lynch with the big gelding, Abbervail van het Dingeshof, while Olympic individual silver medallists, The Netherlands’ Gerco Schroder and London, finished third.  On an afternoon when many of the top riders were further testing some newer horses in their strings, it was Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer who slotted into fourth ahead of Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander and Ego van Orti in fifth place.

A total of 40 horse-and-rider combinations contested this class, and it was always going to be a tough one to win as the starting line-up included nine of the top ten in the World Rankings.  With the series now moving towards the closing stages, and with just three further qualifiers to go, the battle for a qualifying spot at the Final in Gothenburg, Sweden in April is intensifying with every round. And course designer, Germany’s Frank Rothenburger, tested them with a track that demanded rider skills all the way to the final fence.

Continue reading Ahlmann and Taloubet Are Awesome in Leipzig

Koos de Ronde (NED) Shines in FEI World Cup Driving Thriller in Leipzig

Koos de Ronde won the FEI World Cup Driving qualifier in Leipzig and secured a starting ticket for the series’ Final (Photo: Rinaldo de Craen/FEI)

Leipzig (GER), 20 January 2013 – Koos de Ronde (NED) was the star of the ultimate FEI World Cup Driving qualifier held in Leipzig (GER) this weekend. Today’s victory was De Ronde’s only chance to secure a ticket for the Final in Bordeaux (FRA). The suspense was on until the very last moment in the fully packed Leipziger Messe arena. De Ronde came out the winner, József Dobrovitz (HUN) finished second in this thrilling competition, ahead of Tomas Eriksson (SWE) in third.

Eight FEI World Cup drivers

FEI Official course designer Dr Wolfgang Asendorf (GER) had laid out a very horse-friendly course, which was well appreciated by all eight drivers. The organising committee had invited FEI World Cup drivers Christoph Sandmann (GER), Georg von Stein (GER) and IJsbrand Chardon (NED) to compete with wild cards, so eight out of the season’s ten FEI World Cup drivers were present in Leipzig. The only absentees were Boyd Exell (AUS), who is enjoying some time off in his home country, and Theo Timmerman (NED).

Continue reading Koos de Ronde (NED) Shines in FEI World Cup Driving Thriller in Leipzig

Reed Kessler and Ligist Win $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix, CSI 2*

Garfield and Alexandra Crown Surpass Competition in Antares Large Junior Hunters 16-17 Division

Reed Kessler and Ligist. Photo © Sportfot

Wellington, FL – January 19, 2013 – The youngest rider in Saturday night’s $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix was the winner as eighteen-year-old Reed Kessler and Ligist jumped to victory during the highlight event of week two at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). With riders representing fourteen different countries competing in the class, the USA took the top seven placings and the young women were one, two and three. Kessler and Ligist topped Katie Dinan (19) and Nougat du Vallet and Brianne Goutal (24) aboard Nice de Prissey.

The second week of FTI WEF competition, sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty, will conclude with the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic on Sunday afternoon. The 2013 FTI WEF circuit runs through March 31 featuring 12 weeks of world-class competition.

Luc Musette of Belgium set the course for Saturday night’s $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix. The riders were all complimentary of Musette’s course for the evening. Goutal stated, “I thought it was amazing. I thought this course was beautifully built and spot on with the number of clears. It didn’t kill anyone, it was hard, it was fast, it was exciting. It is the best course I have jumped in a long time, I thought it was wonderful.”

Continue reading Reed Kessler and Ligist Win $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix, CSI 2*

Audi Comeback Defeats La Herradura, Advances to Joe Barry Memorial Cup Semifinals

Marc Ganzi of Audi chasing after the ball. Photos - Alex Pacheco

WELLINGTON, FL – January 19, 2013 – Trailing by five goals early in the fourth chukker, Audi came back to defeat previously unbeaten La Herradura, 10-9, Saturday in the Joe Barry Memorial Cup Tournament in front of a large crowd at rain-soaked Isla Carroll West Field.

Audi’s Nic Roldan scored eight goals including the tying and winning goals to enable Audi to advance into Wednesday’s semifinals.

“It was just a matter of more patience and trying to stay cool,” Roldan said. “We couldn’t have been playing any worse in the beginning. Nothing was going our way.

“Slowly but surely we started clawing back,” Roldan said. “It’s a huge win, a great win for us.

Roldan, ranked at eight goals, had six goals in the second half, four on penalty shots.

Audi and La Herradura tied at 2-1 in win-loss bracket play. Audi’s head-to-head win over La Herradura clinched the No. 1 position. The other semifinalists will be determined in Sunday games.

Continue reading Audi Comeback Defeats La Herradura, Advances to Joe Barry Memorial Cup Semifinals

Patrik Kittel and Watermill Scandic Earn Second Win of the Weekend at Gold Coast Opener CDI-W

Patrik Kittel and Watermill Scandic

Wellington, FL – January 19, 2013 – Patrik Kittel and Watermill Scandic added a brilliant victory in today’s Gold Coast Opener Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W to their win in Friday’s Grand Prix CDI-W, both at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. The pair of strong showings establishes them as top contenders in the World Dressage Masters (WDM) CDI5* Palm Beach at Jim Brandon, which will take place January 24-26.

WDM will be far from a walkover, however. Kittel and Watermill Scandic will go up against many of the top-placed pairs from today’s competition, as well as an array of new challengers that includes Steffen Peters, Edward Gal, and Hans Peter Minderhoud. But Kittel and Scandic impressed both the judges and the crowd with their stirring freestyle routine.

They performed to an assortment of upbeat rock tunes, displaying impeccable passage transitions to “Hot in the City.” “I think it’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in the piaffe/passage,” Kittel exclaimed. Although “Dancing with Myself” was also among the musical selections, Kittel and Scandic danced together in complete harmony through rhythmic one-tempis and a striking canter half-pass. The judges awarded them a score of 80.125%.

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Teams Announced for Joanna Monaco Junior Polo Tournament at Grand Champions Polo Club

WELLINGTON, FL – January 18, 2013 – A record twenty-five teams have been announced for the Monday, January 21st Joanna Monaco Memorial Tournament at Grand Champions Polo Club.

The next generation of sons and daughters of men and women polo players including Adolfo Cambiaso, the greatest player in the world, will compete in the day-long event at various levels and ability. Adolfito and Mia Cambiaso will compete for Audi.

The event is co-hosted by player-sponsors Melissa and Marc Ganzi, whose children Grant and Riley will also compete.

Grand Champions has hosted several junior tournaments in the past. This is the first time the seven-year-old club has hosted the Joanna Monaco Memorial Tournament.

Last year’s event, hosted by Gulfstream Polo Club, attracted a record 68 participants on 17 teams. This year’s event has already broken that record with nearly 100 youth polo players signed up, according to Florida Junior Polo’s Jennifer McLeavy.

Continue reading Teams Announced for Joanna Monaco Junior Polo Tournament at Grand Champions Polo Club