Tag Archives: featured

Piaget Eliminated in Ylvisaker Cup Quarterfinals

WELLINGTON, FL – February 18, 2013 – Piaget saw its hopes of repeating as Ylvisaker Cup champions end in Sunday’s quarterfinals at Everglades Polo Club.

The defending champions, leading by two goals in the third and fourth chukkers and three goals in the fifth chukker, lost a heartbreaking 12-11 decision to Lucchese.

“The game could have gone either way but I felt we should have been ahead the whole game, too,” Piaget coach Joey Casey said.

Grand Champions Polo Club-based Piaget finished the tournament with a 2-2 record and is now preparing to switch gears for the 26-goal season that begins this week with the CV Whitney Cup.

Piaget, with 10-goalers Miguel Astrada and Sapo Caset, opens against Alegria on Friday at 10 a.m. at International Polo Club Palm Beach and will be among top contenders for the prestigious cup.

On Sunday, Piaget trailed 5-4 after two chukkers before Astrada took over. Piaget overtook the lead, 7-6, going into halftime on Astrada’s penalty-two goal. Astrada, scoring from all over the field on lofty 60-yarders and penalty shots.

Astrada led his team with seven goals, including four on penalty shots, and finished the Ylvisker Cup tournament among scoring leaders with 32 goals including 17 penalty shots.

Taking a pass from Juan Bollini, Piaget player-padrone Melissa Ganzi raced downfield with two big hits to score her team’s eighth goal for an 8-6 lead. After Lucchese cut the lead to one, Bollini scored on a back shot to return to a two-goal advantage, 9-7, to finish the fourth chukker.

Piaget’s momentum continued in the fifth chukker taking a 10-7 lead after Astrada took the throw-in and drove down the field for a goal. Lucchese started coming back behind Tincho Merlos, who scored two more goals before Astrada scored as time ran out to remain in the lead, 11-9.

Fouls and missed goal opportunities plagued Piaget early in the sixth chukker enabling Lucchese to find its rhythm and pressure Piaget for three unanswered goals.

Merlos’ penalty goal cut the lead to 11-10 and Andres Weisz’ shot in front of the goal tied the game at 11-11. Merlos scored the winning goal at the 3:15 mark.

Piaget had opportunities in the final two minutes of the game but couldn’t capitalize on a penalty goal opportunity or Bollini steal.

“We had a bad luck chukker,” Astrada said. “They had some fast horses and they made the difference in the last chukker. We played well, but not as well as in the other games. We were up on the scoreboard but not playing really well. They made it a very close game and didn’t allow us to run. It was a good 20-goal season anyway.”

Piaget's Joaquin Panelo grabs possession of the ball from Lucchese's Kris Kampsen while teammate Juan Bollini looks on
Piaget’s Joaquin Panelo grabs possession of the ball from Lucchese’s Kris Kampsen while teammate Juan Bollini looks on

Joaquin Panelo, Ganzi and Bollini each scored a goal. All three also played well defensively. Lucchese’s Tincho Merlos, replacing his older brother Sebastian in the lineup after being sidelined with broken ribs sustained in a polo game, scored a game-high ten goals.

“It was a really strange game,” Casey said. “We played well today. We had a couple bad breaks at the end.

“Everybody played well on the team,” Casey said. “It was just one of those days. We had a problem with our throw-ins and then we thought we got it fixed. Then at the end we didn’t.

“Bollini had a phenomenal game, he is playing incredible,” Casey said. “Joaquin played well today. Miguel was his usual 10-goal self and Melissa played very well.”

Both teams had to contend with dropping temperature and wind gusts late in the afternoon.

Melissa Ganzi will now root for husband Marc and Grand Champions Polo Club’s other pro team, Audi, which advanced into Wednesday’s Ylvisaker Cup semifinals with an impressive 14-9 victory over Villa del Lago.

Audi (3-1) will meet Lucchese, 12-11, winners over defending champion Piaget at 3 p.m. In the opening semifinal game at 1 p.m., Coca-Cola, 12-10 upset winners over Zacara, will play Lechuza Caracas, 10-7 winners over ERG.

The prestigious tournament is named after visionary business leader and lifelong polo enthusiast Bill Ylvisaker.

Ylvisaker, a former captain of the Yale polo team, founded the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club. He founded the Polo Training Foundation to teach and develop young polo players. He was a 7-goal rated player and won three U.S. Opens, two Coronation Cups against England and Australia, Gold Cup and four national 20-goal championships. He was chairman of the U.S. Polo Association (1970-75) and inducted into the Polo Hall of Fame in 1994. Ylvisaker died February 6, 2010 at age 85.


Wednesday, February 20: Ylvisaker Semifinals, Coca-Cola vs. Lechuza Caracas, 1 p.m. and Audi vs. Lucchese, 3 p.m.
Sunday, February 24: Haas Cup final, noon; Ylvisaker Cup Final, 3 p.m.


Jan. 31 – Feb. 24, Ylvisaker Cup

Feb. 20 – March 3, Iglehart Cup

Feb. 20 – March 3, CV Whitney Cup

March 5 – March 24, USPA Piaget Gold Cup

March 26 – April 21, 109th Maserati U.S. Open Polo Championship


WHERE: On the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington.

INFORMATION: There are great field side views for tournament action at the home base of pro teams Audi and Piaget. Everyone is welcome to watch polo during the spring and fall tournament season and other special events including the Buzz Welker Memorial Junior Tournament, Women’s Championship Tournament and Gay Polo League Tournament.

Sharon Robb for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)

Triompf Is Triumphant in the $35,000 Adequan Grand Prix

Gulfport, Mississippi (February 18, 2013) – Twenty two horses took to the pristine grand prix field under sunny skies for the $35,000 Adequan Grand Prix yesterday to close out the Gulf Coast Classic’s National Week.  A packed VIP tent and crowded bleachers watched the horse and rider teams from across the country tackle the course designed by Paul Jewel of Lambertville, New Jersey.  But it was Triompf, owned by Loretta Patterson and ridden by Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama, who would be welcomed to the winner’s circle.

A personal triumph, yesterday was grand prix rider Holly Shepherd’s first time back in the grand prix ring since she broke her ankle!  And Triompf did not disappoint!  “He is the most incredible horse,” said Shepherd.  “To ride this horse is better than life itself!” she added exuberantly.

Of the twenty two horse and rider teams that tackled the course, only seven would find themselves qualified for the jump off.  The jump off field had Holly Shepherd and Triompf up against Friday’s Open Welcome Class winner Devin Ryan and the Genn men, Wilhelm and Theo, who won first and second in last week’s $25,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Grand Prix.   After a clean first round time of 102.459 seconds, Wilhelm Genn of Lebanon, Ohio and Palim Palim ***, owned by Nancy Gooding of Larkspur, Colorado, were first to go in the jump off and made it clean, setting the time to beat at 48.132 seconds.   Son Theo Genn of Lebanon, Ohio, riding Paradox, owned by Thomas Bruinsma of Ada, Michigan, posted a clear first round with a time of 100.660 seconds and followed his father in the jump off.  While he posted a faster time of 44.141 seconds, the eight jump faults the pair incurred would put them in seventh place overall.

Wilhelm Genn followed his son Theo, this time riding his own Happy Z.  Although the pair finished their fault free first round in a fast 98.933 seconds, the jump off round found them with four jump faults and the fastest time of 43.123 seconds which would find them in sixth place overall.  Theo Genn was up next aboard his own Cola, and after posting a clean first round of 101.846 seconds, set the new time to beat for the jump off at 46.081 seconds.  That lead time would be temporary though as Devin Ryan, of Long Valley, New Jersey riding Barbara Rowland’s No Worries, delivered a fast, clean jump off effort in the time of 45.284 seconds, but with Shepherd on deck, his time would eventually put him in third position.  Holly Shepherd was next to go and after her first round time of 103.177 put the pedal to the metal for the jump off and went clean and fast with a time of 41.990 seconds.  But, Theo Genn still had Winchester, owned by Bridlebourne Stables, LLC, in the wings and although he posted a fast first round in 103.561 seconds, his jump off round of 43.382 seconds would not be fast enough to catch Shepherd and subsequently placed him in second overall, handing the win to Triompf. “I wasn’t sure my horse could beat the Genns’,” commented Shepherd. “They are super hard to beat and an amazing group of riders,” she added.

“I’m thrilled,” commented proud owner Loretta Patterson. “This was the first grand prix Holly and Triompf have been in this year since she hurt her ankle.  I’m heading to our home in Scottsdale this Thursday, so it was so great to watch Holly ride him to a win for us while we were here,” she said.

Patterson, from Omaha, Nebraska, owns 28 horses and said that she has half of them on Adequan.  “It’s a great product,” she said, “and we appreciate their support of the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Shows!” she added.

“The footing was really good today,” said Shepherd, “The new grass is so thick and lush and when it comes apart, it reseeds itself in a couple of days.  It feels really great.   I think this is the best field in the country to ride on.  It is beautiful to look at and absolutely beautiful to ride on,” she added.

The good times continue to roll at the Gulfport Winter Classic!  Even though today is a non-show day, all adults attending the Gulf Coast Winter Classic are invited to attend a Happy Hour hosted by sponsor Island View Casino at 3300 West Beach Boulevard from 5:30 to 8:00 pm tonight! Complimentary drinks, hors d’oeuvres and live music in The View Bar and afterwards, stay and play or try out some of the other restaurants.

The Gulf Coast Classic in Gulfport is where the fun will be this winter, so don’t miss it!  Remember, even though Mardi Gras in neighboring New Orleans officially ended this week, the fun keeps rolling on and that festive atmosphere spills onto the show grounds. With its close proximity to the Gulf Coast beaches, class offerings, prize money, and social scene, the Gulf Coast Classic Company’s Gulfport shows are a must on everyone’s show list.  The show will feature weekly $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derbies, the $10,000 International Hunter Derby Week V and a weekly Grand Prix, to name a few highlights.  The grand prix schedule continues next week with the $35,000 Nutrena Grand Prix on February 24, the $35,000 CWD Grand Prix on March 3, and the circuit grand finale, the $50,000 Budweiser Grand Prix, scheduled for March 10.

Anyone who has shown with the Classic Company knows what sets them apart from the rest:  Classic Shows are FUN!  And, this year the fun continues at the Gulfport show with complimentary exhibitor parties, breakfasts, luncheons and office snacks to make your showing experience the best ever.

Classic Company never charges a scratch or add fee for those last minute adds and scratches, so if you haven’t entered yet, go to the prize list or simply click on Equestrian Connect to fill out your entry form and stabling requests.

Equestrian Connect is Classic Company’s Official Service Provider and allows exhibitors to store their data one time, on the web, and then use that data to automatically fill out hunter/jumper entry forms across the country.  The service offers a free 45 day trial period for new members.  At the conclusion of the trial period, Equestrian Connect offers an annual subscription, or a “pay as you go” service.    The service allows exhibitors to save both time and money.  This is the one-minute online entry service that will help you get your entries in on time and you to the show!

So, whether you are a seasoned veteran or a novice looking for a positive show experience, look to the Gulf Coast Classic shows in Gulfport, and let the good times roll!

The Classic Company is a USHJA’s Members Choice Award winner, recognized for producing top quality show jumping events in the United States.  For more information on Classic Company and its exhibitor-friendly, top quality hunter jumper events, please visit them at www.ClassicCompany.com or call them at 843-768-5503.

All sponsorship, marketing and press inquiries should be directed to Lisa Engel, Sponsorship, Marketing and Public Relations Director at classicsponsorship@gmail.com.  All program advertising should be directed to Nate Poliquin, Program Sales Representative at classicshowads@yahoo.com.

Stay up to date:  Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter!

See you at the ring,
Bob Bell
The Classic Company, Ltd.
Phone/FAX:  (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311  Johns Island  SC 29457

Audi Defeats Villa del Lago, 14-9, to Advance into Ylvisaker Cup Semifinals

WELLINGTON, FL – February 18, 2013 – With a balanced second-half attack, Audi mounted an impressive comeback to defeat Villa del Lago, 14-9, and advance into Wednesday’s Ylvisaker Cup semifinals at International Polo Club Palm Beach.

In Wednesday’s semifinals, Grand Champions Polo Club-based Audi (3-1) will meet Lucchese, 12-11, winners over defending champion Piaget at 3 p.m.

In the opening semifinal game at 1 p.m., Coca-Cola, 12-10 upset winners over Zacara, will play Lechuza Caracas, 10-7 winners over ERG.

Audi, down by four goals early in the game, came back in the second half to outscore Villa del Lago, 8-2.

“We are a second-half team, that’s all I can say,” said Nic Roldan, who scored a game-high eight goals. “We kept our cool.

“We just kept saying we can do it, we can do it, we can do it,” Roldan said. “We just stayed in there and kept fighting. The last two chukkers we felt really good. As a team we all feel so confident in each other that’s obvious.”

Roldan is fourth among Ylvisaker Cup scoring leaders behind Facundo Pieres of Zacara (35), Miguel Astrada of Piaget (32) and Polito Pieres of Lechuza Caracas (28) with 27 goals including 17 on penalty shots.

Audi, one win away from the championship finals, will get a chance to avenge its lone loss of the tournament, a 10-9 decision to Lucchese on Feb. 1.

Last year Audi made it to the finals before being knocked off by Piaget.

“Lucchese was the team nobody wanted to play,” said Audi player-padrone Marc Ganzi. “They are four good players.

“The game changed very quickly,” Ganzi said. “It changed in the fourth and by the fifth we had them.

“It was a good game. They came out and put everything up front, they put their best horses up front. We’re a second half team. We’re clicking at the right time.”

Both teams had to contend with 45-degree weather and wind gusting up to 18 miles per hour.

After a slow start and falling behind in the third chukker (7-3), Audi was relentless in the second half with its total team effort and textbook defense.

Audi's Nic Roldan battles for the ball against Villa del Lago's Agustin Obregon
Audi’s Nic Roldan battles for the ball against Villa del Lago’s Agustin Obregon

After cutting Villa del Lago’s lead to two goals (7-5) to end the first half, Audi stormed back with a quick goal from Roldan to start the fourth chukker.

“For me the game changed with about three minutes left in the third chukker; we had a change in mentality,” Ganzi said. “The idea was to put more pressure on them so we started sending the ball forward.

“Once we started putting pressure on them to hit their backhanders, they were either hitting short backhanders or missing them and we were picking up their backhanders and scoring goals. We turned the tables on them right before halftime and that served notice that we were going to come and then we came with everything in the second half. We withstood the storm.”

Audi found its momentum, started pressuring more and began to chip away with goals, outscoring Villa del Lago, 3-1, in the fourth and fifth chukkers and shutting them out in the final chukker, 2-0.

Audi’s Nico Pieres added five goals and played outstanding on both ends of the field. Magoo Laprida scored seven goals for Villa del Lago.

“We are a second half team; we played well in the last three chukkers,” Pieres said. “We started playing really well in the fourth chukker.

“In the beginning it was too cold and there was a lot of wind,” Pieres said. “The balls were hitting the horses and everything. But in the second half we played much better as a team. We tried to play more short passes.

“They are a tough team; they have four good players and we knew that,” Pieres said. “It’s good we are in the semifinals. Now that we are playing well we want to win everything. It’s good for the team and good for the horses.”

Audi's Nico Pieres keeps control of the ball against Villa del Lago's Guille Aguero
Audi’s Nico Pieres keeps control of the ball against Villa del Lago’s Guille Aguero

The hard-fought game was physical. Each team was assessed a penalty one (automatic goal).

Mariano Gracida got knocked off his pony with 2:09 remaining in the fourth chukker but was unhurt and returned to the game. Roldan got hit in his lower back with a ball with 3:27 left in the sixth chukker.

Gracida, the son of former 10-goaler Carlos Gracida, will be making his 20-goal tournament semifinal debut on Wednesday.

“It feels great to be in the semifinals,” said the 19-year-old. “This is my first time. I am really happy how we played today.

“We switched a couple of things in the second half and got our rhythm started,” Gracida said. “We started making all the plays and finishing them. In the end we just clicked and everything went well.”

Gracida was well-mounted in the second half and covered the entire field making key defensive plays and stops while paying attention to details.

“Being on a better horse than your opponent is definitely an advantage,” Gracida said.

The prestigious tournament is named after visionary business leader and lifelong polo enthusiast Bill Ylvisaker.

Ylvisaker, a former captain of the Yale polo team, founded the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club. He founded the Polo Training Foundation to teach and develop young polo players. He was a 7-goal rated player and won three U.S. Opens, two Coronation Cups against England and Australia, Gold Cup and four national 20-goal championships.

He was chairman of the U.S. Polo Association (1970-75) and inducted into the Polo Hall of Fame in 1994. Ylvisaker died February 6, 2010 at age 85.


Wednesday, February 20: Ylvisaker Semifinals, Coca-Cola vs. Lechuza Caracas, 1 p.m. and Audi vs. Lucchese, 3 p.m.

Sunday, February 24: Haas Cup final, noon; Ylvisaker Cup Final, 3 p.m.


Jan. 31 – Feb. 24, Ylvisaker Cup

Feb. 20 – March 3, Iglehart Cup

Feb. 20 – March 3, CV Whitney Cup

March 5 – March 24, USPA Piaget Gold Cup

March 26 – April 21, 109th Maserati U.S. Open Polo Championship


WHERE: On the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington.

INFORMATION: There are great field side views for tournament action at the home base of pro teams Audi and Piaget. Everyone is welcome to watch polo during the spring and fall tournament season and other special events including the Buzz Welker Memorial Junior Tournament, Women’s Championship Tournament and Gay Polo League Tournament.

Sharon Robb for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)

Team International The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch Revving It Up for COTA

Wellington, FL – February 18, 2013 – The international quadrille team sponsored by The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch plans to give their competitors a run for their money at The Challenge of the Americas (COTA) presented by SSG Gloves on Saturday, March 9.

Team International The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch has been practicing an intricate quadrille for The Challenge and its 11th anniversary return as a one-of-a-kind affair highlighting the equestrian sport of dressage. Competing riders include the “Who’s Who” of top equestrian competitors in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe riding in team quadrilles to Play for P.I.N.K. to help raise funds for breast cancer research.

Team International is comprised of dressage stars Todd Flettrich, Catherine Haddad-Staller, Susanne Hamilton, Nancy Later, Sharon McCusker and Cherri Reiber. The coaches for the team are Ruth Hogan-Poulsen and Erin Swaney.

Josh Parker, one of the principals of The Seley Parker Group, said it’s their seventh year to sponsor the event. “The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch is extremely proud to once again support the International Team and The Challenge of the Americas,” he said. “Raising awareness and helping find a cure for such a terrible disease should be one of everyone’s top priorities.”

Susanne Hamilton
Susanne Hamilton

Susanne Hamilton, a United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Gold Medalist and one of the team riders, said she went to her first Challenge of the Americas six years ago with her friend, Ingrid Lind, who lost her fight with breast cancer three years later.

“This is close to my heart,” she said. “I’d like to dedicate my ride to someone this year who’s fighting hard. She’s in Britain and she’s a Grade II para-rider who is dying from this,” she continued with a hitch in her voice. “Her name is Gwenllian Hughes. I want to dedicate this to her.”

Quadrille rider Sharon McCusker, a USEF long listed FEI Grand Prix competitor and trainer, also believes in the cause. “I’m delighted to be involved with this benefit,” she said. “Almost all of us have lost somebody who has been affected by breast cancer.”

One of the Team International coaches, Ruth Hogan-Poulsen, who creates freestyles for every level of dressage rider, said she is happy and honored to be a part of The Challenge of the Americas. “It’s impressive and shows the importance of the cause when six professionals and two choreographers take time from their schedules at least once a week to show their dedication to COTA,” she said. “As a choreographer and music editor, it’s a fun challenge to create for both riders and spectators alike.”

The other coach and choreographer, Erin Swaney, an FEI rider and trainer, said she started helping with The Challenge in response to COTA organizer Mary Ross’ request.

“I always went to The Challenge and one year Mary needed somebody to coach one of the teams and she asked me to do it,” she said. “I had watched it for years and I always thought of things that would look different and amazing for the spectators.”

She said that since she has been one of the coaches for the quadrilles, she strives to make the choreography fresh and jots down ideas for the freestyle throughout the year, paying special attention to visual excitement from every angle for the audience.

“It’s funny because every year the riders think it’s crazy and they say they can’t do it but in the end, everyone is surprised,” she laughed. “Last year the team was so cute. I gave them the pattern and they gave me THAT look, but in the end it all came together. This year it’s a whole new team and they have a really great dynamic. When we walked the pattern the first time it was hilarious but it all seems to work out in the end. I like how the whole thing unfolds and how each person comes together for the team.”

Todd Flettrich leads the way during team practice
Todd Flettrich leads the way during team practice

Aside from the serious theme of fundraising for breast cancer research, fun is a central theme to all the riders on the team.

“I did it once before and it was a really fun experience,” Grand Prix dressage rider and trainer Todd Flettrich said. “Everybody gets together to ride and it’s for a good cause. I enjoy the sense of camaraderie when we are all for the same team. It’s great because it’s for the cause and not for yourself.”

Catherine Haddad-Staller, a two-time Grand Prix winner in the U.S. and a USDF Gold Medalist, agreed. “I think it’s a worthy cause and I am quite excited to be a part of the international team,” she said.

Cherri Reiber, an FEI trainer and competitor, added she is also involved with the quadrille to support the cause. “We’re having a ball,” she said. “It’s really been fun.”

This is Nancy Later’s first year to participate as a rider in the quadrille and she said she is helping support organizer Mary Ross in her effort to fund breast cancer research. Later is a USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medalist.

Nancy Later
Nancy Later

“I think Mary’s done a great job for years and we love going to watch and I always wanted to be part of a team so it’s very exciting,” she said. “We’re a newbie team. So far we are having a great time. We can be partners instead of competitors so it’s really fun. It’s important that we remember to thank our sponsor, Merrill Lynch, too.”

Parker from the Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch added, “This event, with all of its equestrian pageantry, is always a blast and raises considerable funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.”

To learn more about The Challenge of The Americas, visit www.challengeoftheamericas.com.

For tickets, contact Mary Ross at (561) 433-0988 or by email at Anglot@aol.com.

Find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChallengeOfTheAmericas.

The Challenge of The Americas Fast Facts


The Challenge of The Americas (COTA) presented by SSG Gloves, known throughout the equestrian world for its spectacular performances on horseback, returns for its 11th anniversary to continue its fight against breast cancer. This annual fundraiser is a one-of-a-kind affair that highlights the equestrian sport of dressage. Competing riders include the “Who’s Who” of top equestrian competitors in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe.

Sharon McCusker
Sharon McCusker

There are few, if any, places throughout the world where an audience can delight in the performances of such a large and distinguished group of riders and their magnificent equine partners. The Challenge of The Americas’ teams of international riders compete in quadrilles to world-class music and choreography in an effort to raise money to help find a cure for breast cancer. Proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation through Play for P.I.N.K.


Saturday, March 9, 2013
5:30 p.m.        Cocktails and hors d’Oeuvres
6:15 p.m.        Opening Ceremonies
6:25 p.m.        Reining Freestyles and Pas de Deux
6:45 p.m.        Quadrille Team Challenge
7:30 p.m.        Award Presentation
7:45 p.m.        The Challenge Gala: Dinner and Dancing


Jim Brandon Equestrian Center
West Palm Beach, Florida

Back on Track Products
Cunningham & Cunningham Livestock, Inc.
International Polo Club Palm Beach
Merrill Lynch, The Seley Parker Group
Purina Mills
Red Barn Feed & Supply
SSG Gloves
Steed Training
United States Dressage Federation
Wellington Classic Dressage

Ticket Information:

Mary Ross
8067 Montserrat Place
Wellington, FL 33414
(561) 433-0988
(561) 251-7945

Ticket prices:

VIP Tables of 8:
Gold Patron               $6,500 per table
Silver Patron              $4,500 per table
Bronze Patron            $2,000 per table

VIP Individual Seating:
Competition and Gala (includes dinner and dancing)       $250 per person
Competition (includes hors d’oeuvres and cash bar)        $100 per person

General Admission seating $20 per person at the gate
Children 12 and under admitted free (General Admission)

News and Information:
Phelps Media Group
Sue Weakley
(561) 753-3389
12012 South Shore Blvd., Suite 105
Wellington, FL 33414



The Challenge of The Americas Beneficiaries:

Play for P.I.N.K.

Play for P.I.N.K. (Prevention, Immediate diagnosis, New technology, Knowledge) is a grassroots organization dedicated to raising funds to fight breast cancer, by creating and promoting awareness of breast cancer through sporting and lifestyle events including men’s and women’s golf tournaments, tennis, swimming, card games, equestrian events, and shopping benefits.  Our commitment is to contribute 100% of all funds raised to our beneficiary, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. In 2012, PFP donated $4 million to BCRF for a cumulative total of $29.75 million. For more information about PFP, visit playforpink.org.

Website: playforpink.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/playforpink

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Website: www.bcrfcure.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheBreastCancerResearchFoundation

Sue Weakley for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)

Christilot Boylen Sweeps Small Tour at the Florida Dressage Classic CDI-W

Wellington, FL – February 17, 2013 – The Florida Dressage Classic CDI-W, presented by USPRE Association, at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival finished today with the last class of the Small Tour. Christilot Boylen (CAN) captured the top spot again today winning the $6,000 FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle, sponsored by Havensafe Farm.

Watch an interview with Christilot Boylen

Judges for this afternoon’s class were Jane Weatherwax (USA) at E, Victoire Mandl (AUT) at H, Jacques Van Daele (BEL) at C, Jennie Loriston-Clarke (GBR) at M, and Jean-Michel Roudier (FRA) at B.

It was a great weekend for Boylen, winning all her classes that she entered. Receiving a score of 73.375% atop Dio Mio (De Niro x Charmeur), she was overjoyed at his performance this afternoon. Of the 10-year-old black Hanoverian gelding, she commented, “Today was the first time we had done our Freestyle as I just got the music two days ago! He had some trouble in the lines, but overall I am pleased.”

Up next for the six-time Olympian is competing with her young horses. “They are all very talented. I believe that the older, more experienced riders should be on the young, green horses and vice versa. That’s a mixture that works well. I can offer these horses a lot more support, because I’ve done it so often. To support them in their first attempts gives a really great foundation. If they have good experiences in the ring, they will grow on that. Otherwise, they lose their confidence and will to perform in the arena,” reflected Boylen.

A special award was given today to the high point winners in the FEI Test of Choice. The Der Dau Dream Team Award was presented to Neve Myburgh (GER) riding Caroline Roffman’s Accent Aigu Frh (Amerigo Vespucci XX x Trapper) and Janne Rumbough (USA) riding her mount Afilado (Gaucho III x BW Maravilla).

The USPRE Assocation gave special awards as well to Janne Rumbough and Rachel Chowanec.

With the Florida Dressage Classic, CDI-W presented by USPRE Association in the books, competition resumes at The Stadium on March 14-17, 2013, with the WEF Dressage Classic, CDI 3* presented by Today’s Equestrian & Fellows.

For full results and more information, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Final Results: $6,000 FEI Intermediaire Freestyle sponsored by Havensafe Farm

  1. Dio Mio, Christilot Boylen (CAN): E: 72.625%, H: 71.375%, C: 78.625%, M: 74.000%, B: 70.250%, Total: 73.375%
  2. Tolstoy, Nicholas Fyffe (AUS): E: 66.875%, H: 71.750%, C: 68.750%, M: 69.000%, B: 64.625%, Total: 68.200%
  3. Rigaudon Tyme, Evi Strasser (CAN): E: 66.875%, H: 70.000%, C: 66.875%, M: 68.875%, B: 66.125%, Total: 67.750%
  4. Nymphenburg’s Love, Katharina Stumpf (AUT): E: 62.625%, H: 68.125%, C: 60.125%, M: 61.625%, B: 64.375%, Total: 63.375%
  5. Ungaro, Sonia Zugel (IRL): E: 62.250%, H: 61.875%, C: 58.375%, M: 63.125%, B: 64.625%, Total: 62.050%

Jessica Parlon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:

The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (GDF) is one of the world’s largest international and national dressage circuits featuring five CDIs, including a 5*, the first non-championship CDIO Nations’ Cup in the Western Hemisphere, and nine U.S. national events. The Adequan GDF is offering more than $275,000 in prize money for the five international competitions making it one of the richest circuits in the world. In addition to the CDIs with national competitions, the Adequan GDF will feature six separate national shows to be held at the Stadium section of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) show grounds.  The Adequan GDF encompasses almost 60 acres of the former Palm Beach Polo Grounds. The facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area for the International Arena fully catered for relaxing and having an enjoyable experience.

First Founding Sponsors: Matt Varney, Chris and Rob Desino, Wellington Equestrian Realty; Janet and William Richardson Pearson, Chesapeake Dressage Institute of Annapolis, MD; Devon and Terri Kane, Diamante Farm; Joe and Gaye Scarpa, Magnolia Farm; Tuny Page and Family, Stillpoint Farm; and Kimberly and Frederic Boyer, United States P.R.E. Association

Founding Sponsors: Ashley Holzer and Diane Fellows, Today’s Equestrian; Bethany Peslar, Everglades Dressage; Betsy Juliano, Havensafe Farm; Carol and Rebecca Cohen, Two Swans Farm LLC; Janne Rumbough, MTICA Farm; Mike & Roz Collins; Suhail and PJ Rizvi, Peacock Ridge; and Tim and Susie Dutta, The Dutta Corp.

Corporate Sponsors: Brown Distributing, Champion Equine Insurance, Charles Owen, Chronicle of the Horse, Custom Saddlery, Der Dau, Dever Golf Carts, Equestrian Services International (ESI), Elite Equestrian Magazine, European Dressage Connection, Gold Coast Feed & Supply, Horse Of Course, Horseware Ireland, Interagro Lusitanos, Moet Hennessy USA, Nespresso USA, Paddock Cakes, Palm Beach Equine Clinic, Pennfield, Piaffe Performance, Premier Equestrian, Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach, Rolex, Sanctuary at PBIEC, Show Chic, Sidelines Magazine, World Equestrian Brands

Please visit
or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at
13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations

Jennifer Alfano and Rose Hill Win Big in the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS Ocala V

OCALA, FL (February 18, 2013) – Jennifer Alfano got down to business at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida, and won the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix this weekend. Alfano of Buffalo, New York and Sharon O’Neill’s Rose Hill rode to a sweet victory and a $2,800 winner’s check. Sweeter than usual, however, the win marked a storied return back to the competition ring for Rose Hill.

“She is only eight years old and underwent colic surgery last May,” said Alfano of the Warmblood mare that carried her to the blue. “She just started showing again and I am really excited to have her back.”

The scenery changed this week for hunter prix riders as they moved to the main hunter ring and showed over a course designed by Doug Russell of Ocala, Florida.

Alfano was second going into the final round after a score of 86, right behind Winn Alden of Bristow, Virginia aboard Barbara Sheffield’s Cameo Appearance with an 87. Alfano was tenth to return in a 12-horse second round and rode to an impressive 89, which was just enough to deliver the win. Alfano also piloted Rose Hill to a second and third-place finish in two HITS Ocala Devoucoux Hunter Prix earlier in the circuit.

Despite the chilly weather that rolled in and prompted some frisky antics from several horses during the class, Alfano admits that Rose Hill was focused and pretty unflappable throughout the day.

“She walked right into the new ring and got it done,” said Alfano of Rose Hill. “She is so easy and fun – she is the kind of horse that everyone wants in their barn.”

After an 86 in round two gave him a total score of 173, just two points below Alfano, Alden and Cameo Appearance finished second. Amanda Steege has already been in the Devoucoux Hunter Prix money several times this season and rode to third yesterday with Susan Darragh’s Zidane. They boasted an overall score of 167.5.

Another familiar face in the top five with two wins already pocketed, Shachine Belle of Farmington, Connecticut and Robin Swinderman’s INXS finished fourth with a score of 166.75. Paul Mathews of Somerset, Virginia fell just short of Belle and rounded out the top five with a 166.5 on Terry Morrison’s Carino.

With four more qualifying opportunities for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final during the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, Alfano is hopeful that Rose Hill is the horse to get her to HITS Championship Weekend this fall. “She’s a perfect horse for that class. She shows in the 3’6” Performance Division and was champion this week, so she is really getting back into form.  We definitely hope to qualify and ride in the $500,000 class in Saugerties,” she said.

$1,500 HITS Hunter Prix

Amy Zettler of Aldie, Virginia bested 52 to pilot her own Glad Rags to the top of the $1,500 HITS Hunter Prix this weekend at HITS Ocala. After a second-place finish last week, Zettler is sitting near the top of the rider standings for September’s HITS $250,000 Hunter Prix Final.

©ESI Photography. Amy Zettler rode to the win in the $1,500 HITS Hunter Prix aboard Glad Rags
©ESI Photography. Amy Zettler rode to the win in the $1,500 HITS Hunter Prix aboard Glad Rags

Meghan Kaupp of Pittsford, New York was second aboard Serenity Farm’s Q and Lena Rae Reeb of Weston, Connecticut finished third with Jamie Ringel’s Private Ryan. After a win in last year’s HITS Children Hunter Pony Final, Reeb is looking forward to a triumphant return to Saugerties, New York this year and an appearance in the HITS Hunter Prix Final during HITS Championship Weekend.

Lynn Seithel of Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina rode Louse Petz’s Wellington to fourth and Marge Sidman of Marstons Mills, Massachusetts capped the top five with her own Robinlanta.

About Devoucoux
Devoucoux, makers of fine French saddles, is proud to be the title sponsor of each and every qualifying Hunter Prix leading up to the phenomenal Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final. The Devoucoux Hunter Prix will be a featured event at all HITS horse shows this season as riders from around the country set out to qualify for the third-annual Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final, which will take place September 7-8 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.

About Diamond Mills Hotel & Tavern
Just 100 miles outside of New York City, nestled in the Village of Saugerties, Diamond Mills is a 30-room luxury hotel featuring stellar accommodations, fine dining at The Tavern and full-service events at a state-of-the art Special Events Center. Diamond Mills is a proud member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, an unsurpassed collection of over 520 luxury hotels around the world. Saugerties’ newest luxury hotel is also the proud sponsor of the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, which will take place at HITS-on-the-Hudson as part of the HITS Championship Weekend. For more information about Diamond Mills or the special VIP packages available to HITS-on-the-Hudson exhibitors, please visit DiamondMillsHotel.com or call 845.247.0700.

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
845.246.8833 Tel • Media_Info@HitsShows.comHitsShows.com

Take Advantage of Top Tips Ahead of the Cheltenham Festival

The build-up to the Cheltenham Festival is a special time of year for horse racing fans.  The wet tracks of the winter are a thing of the past and the sport’s premier jumpers are gearing up for the biggest meeting of all.  To really get the most out of the four-day Cheltenham Festival, check out the form of some of the top runners.

The William Hill Champion Hurdle provides the first feature race of the meeting.  Last year Noel Fehily rode Rock on Ruby to victory and the horse will be back to retain his title.  However, Nicky Henderson will be hoping to put a spanner in the works with his two horses, Darlan and Grandouet.  However, keep an eye out for Don McCain’s horse Cinders and Ashes.  Although not widely fancied, there is plenty of potential in this horse, especially on the relatively good ground of Cheltenham.

Ladies’ Day is all about fashion, style, and of course some excellent Cheltenham betting at the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Most people think that Sprinter Sacre already has this one in the bag.  However, don’t be so sure.  Prestbury Park will provide a particularly difficult test of stamina and character and Rainbow and Sizing Europe will be poised to take advantage of any chink in Sprinter Sacre’s armour.

Of course, the festival ends with the crescendo of the Gold Cup, one of the most prestigious titles in the sport.  Champion jockey AP McCoy rode Synchronised to victory last year, under the tutelage of trainer Jonjo O’Neill.  This year, the pundits have put Bob’s Worth in the driving seat.  However, the Hennessy Gold Cup winner will come under pressure from previous winner of this race Long Run and keep an eye out for Jewson winner Sir Des Champs.

Beezie Madden and Cortes ‘C’ Victorious in $125,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix

Parkland and Lillie Keenan Are an Unstoppable Force in Small Junior 16-17 Hunters

Wellington, FL – February 16, 2013 – Two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist Beezie Madden and Abigail Wexner’s Cortes ‘C’ were victorious on Saturday night in the $125,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix, CSI 3*-W presented by Spy Coast Farm, during week six of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) in Wellington, FL. Madden beat out an impressive roster of top riders and finished in first place over Katie Dinan (USA) and Nougat du Vallet and Shane Sweetnam (IRL) aboard Amaretto d’Arco, who finished second and third respectively.

Brazil’s Guilherme Jorge set the track for 46 entries in Saturday night’s grand prix with nine jumping clear to advance to the jump-off. Four were able to complete the short course without fault, with the fastest time of 41.50 seconds belonging to Beezie Madden and Cortes ‘C’ took top prize.

Watch an interview with Beezie Madden!

Margie Engle (USA) and Elm Rock, LLC’s Royce were first to clear the jump-off course in 45.69 seconds and eventually placed fourth. Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm, LLC’s Amaretto d’Arco cleared the jump-off track in 42.56 seconds to place third. Up next, Katie Dinan and Grant Road Partners, LLC’s Nougat du Vallet upped the ante with their time of 41.84 seconds to place second. They were immediately followed by an even faster clear round from Beezie Madden and Cortes ‘C’ in the winning 41.50 seconds. Week four grand prix winners Ben Maher and Jane Clark’s Cella had the fastest time of the night in 40.46 seconds, but had one rail down in the short course to place fifth.

Spy Coast Farm owners Robert and Lisa Lourie were thrilled with the success of the evening and the great class along with a third place finish for their horse and rider. Lisa Lourie commented, “I think it was an extremely exciting grand prix. It was very competitive and you could not have asked for a better lineup for the jump-off. It was a world-class event and we were happy to be a part of that jump-off. As they say, anytime you lose to Beezie when she is riding at her best, that is not a bad thing. We are very pleased with how it went and very happy to do it.”

Madden’s winning mount for the evening, Cortes ‘C’, is an eleven-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Randel Z x Darco that Madden has now had for three years. Madden describes Cortes as a horse with fantastic ability. “He can jump the moon,” Madden stated. “He’s a bit of an internal worrier and I think he is just starting to come into his own. If he can relax like he did tonight under the lights in a big atmosphere I think he’s going to be fantastic.”

This was the first big grand prix of the year for Cortes and Madden was happy with his performance. “He felt fantastic,” she smiled. “Last year he was a little inexperienced under the lights and he was very tense when he came up here each time. This time he started out very relaxed and he felt terrific.”

“He felt very relaxed in the first round; very rideable and jumping well,” Madden continued. “I saw Katie go right before me. I was lucky to go right behind her so I could see how fast she went, so the strategy became try to pull out all the shots you can and it worked.”

In addition to the grand prix win, Madden was named the Leading Lady Jumper Rider, an award presented by Martha Jolicoeur of Illustrated Properties in memory of Dale Lawler.

“I’d just like to thank Spy Coast and the Louries,” Madden said. “They are great enthusiasts of the sport and without people like them we wouldn’t be here.”

Second place finisher, nineteen-year-old Katie Dinan, has grown up with Beezie Madden as a riding idol and was excited to finish in the top of the class with her. Dinan’s horse, Nougat du Vallet, jumped two great rounds as well. “He felt great,” Dinan smiled. “He jumped so well in the first round and we had a good school before the jump-off. I knew he wasn’t going to try to touch any of the jumps. It was just up to me to go fast. He can do most things for me, but I have to tell him when we need to go fast. He felt really good.”

Shane Sweetnam was pleased to finish in the top three for Spy Coast Farm with their top stallion Amaretto d’Arco, and had a great night.

“I was very happy with my horse tonight,” Sweetnam stated. “Obviously, the Spy Coast Grand Prix, I would have liked to have won it, but I was very happy. It is his first grand prix of the year and I’m just happy to be here.”

“Guilherme did a good job with the course,” Sweetnam said. “I think nine is a good number for clear rounds. No one got hung up anywhere, so for the young riders it was good experience for them as well as a good class for the public.”

Also showing in the International Arena on Saturday, Jessica Springsteen and Stone Hill Farm’s Vindicat W won the $15,000 RCG Farm SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. Lucas Porter and Mill’s Georgia, owned by John Roche, won in the Hollow Creek Farm Medium Junior Jumpers. Alvaro Tejada Arriola and Isabel Tejada’s Velinta Palo Blanco won in the Animo USA Medium Amateur-Owner Jumpers, and Diederique Van Der Knaap and G&C Con Air won in the Griffis Residential High Junior Jumpers.

Parkland and Lillie Keenan Are an Unstoppable Force in Small Junior 16-17 Hunters

Parkland and Lillie Keenan continued their domination of the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division during week six of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. The pair has taken home championship honors every week they have competed in the division, making this win their fourth tricolor victory.  Keenan and Parkland, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Jennifer Gates, were a force to be reckoned with throughout the two days of competition for the division. They placed third and first over fences on day one and won both over fences rounds day two before wrapping up the division with a fourth place on the flat.

Lillie Keenan and Parkland. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography
Lillie Keenan and Parkland. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography

Reserve champion was Romance, ridden and owned by Spencer Smith. Smith and Romance were sixth over fences on day one and placed second in both over fences rounds day two. The pair edged out Keenan and Parkland under saddle, placing third in the final class of the division.

Romance and Smith were also honored with the Owner/Rider championship title for the division. The award recognizes riders in junior divisions competing on their own horses and is tallied separately from overall division championship awards. Reserve Owner/Rider champions were MTM U Call It and Cloe Hymowitz.

Keenan, of New York City, and Parkland began their partnership during week one of the FTI WEF, when the pair first took home the tricolor prize.  Since then, the two have proven that it wasn’t just beginner’s luck that earned them top honors.

“He’s a really special horse. He’s really fancy and it’s nice to have [a horse] in the division that you can trust to do his part. He’s a great mover and his strongest quality is how beautiful he is across the ground. His owner, Jennifer Gates, is so nice and comes to see him all the time, so it’s nice to have a lot of support behind you with a horse as special as Parkland,” Keenan stated.

“We’ve gotten closer as circuit has gone on,” Keenan continued. “He’s really part of the [Heritage Farm] family. When he first came, I’d never ridden him before he got to Florida but we’ve gotten to know each other very well. We can rely on each other in the ring.”

Keenan attributes much of her success with Parkland to the gelding’s incredible natural talent, but the bond the two shares is an undeniable factor.  “I know what he likes and I know what to expect. He’s a very reliable horse. The style I ride is very similar to the way he wants to go. It’s a lot easier to match up with a horse that goes the way you like to ride. We naturally have a connection and we’ve worked on it a lot,” Keenan described.

“He’s dead brave and he moves and jumps well, which is a great foundation to work from. I just have to hold him together and keep him in a solid rhythm. It’s really just monitoring his pace and that’s all it takes,” Keenan continued.

Keenan and Parkland will aim to continue their winning streak over the remaining six weeks of the FTI WEF. Keenan is eager to return for week seven of the FTI WEF for the World Championship Hunter Rider Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular, hosted in the International Arena next week.

Week six of the FTI WEF concludes Sunday with the La Mundial Adult Amateur Hunter 18-35 Section B division, which will determine its champion in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Arena. The $33,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic will conclude jumper competition in the International Arena. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival
The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 9 through March 31. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.

About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 3,800 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.56 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2011. More information can be found at www.fticonsulting.com.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations

Langehanenberg Makes It Two-in-a-Row at Neumuenster

Neumuenster (GER), 17 February 2013 – In a double of doubles, Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW today recorded a back-to-back victory in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Western European League 2012/2013 series when heading the line-up on home turf at Neumuenster, Germany where the pair also reigned supreme last season.

The 30-year-old rider and her 13-year-old stallion produced a performance of such quality that the result was in no doubt once they posted their score of 87.800.  At Amsterdam in The Netherlands four weeks ago, they beat defending double-champions Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival in Freestyle for the very first time. And today the dynamic German duo showed even greater confidence and composure as they strutted to success in front of their home crowd.

Cornelissen’s grip on the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage title looks set to be seriously challenged when the series Final takes place in Gothenburg, Sweden at the end of April.  “When we go to the Final we will give our very, very best, and if we keep this form it will be really good sport and very interesting!” Langehanenberg said today.

Top Three Places

Of the 15 riders from eight nations, Germany fielded four today and captured all of the top three places. Kristina Sprehe, one of the new wave of exciting younger riders emerging into the sport for Germany and a member of the London 2012 Olympic team silver medal side, slotted into second with Desperados FRH while the veteran and former FEI World Cup Dressage champion, Isabell Werth, finished third with Don Johnson FRH.

Danish riders claimed fourth and fifth places, and once again Sidsel Johansen and Schianto won the hearts of the spectators with another joyous and pleasing performance. And, for the second time this season, the crowd expressed their disappointment at the score awarded to the Danish duo.  But judges Katrina Wuest (GER), Dr Evi Eisenhardt (GER), Ghislain Fouarge (NED), Leif Tornblad (DEN) and Marietta Almasy (FRA) were very much in agreement as Johansen’s 72.660 left them in fifth place.

Today’s result has rocketed Sprehe up to the top of the leaderboard, with, however, just a single-point advantage over long-time leader Valentina Truppa from Italy going into the last qualifying leg at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands in four weeks’ time. Langehanenberg lies third ahead of Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven in fourth and Dutchman Edward Gal in fifth place.

Today’s result also mirrored that of yesterday’s Grand Prix in which Damon Hill’s score of 83.310 left Langehanenberg almost five full marks ahead of Desperados and Sprehe while Don Johnson and Werth claimed third.


As today’s Freestyle got underway, it was Finland’s Terhi Stegars and the handsome Trakehner, Axis TSF, who were the first to score over 70 per cent when achieving 71.150, and then The Netherlands’ Marlie von Baalen and BMC Miciano raised the bar with a score of 73.850. However it was the latter’s Dutch counterpart, Patrick van der Meer, who held the clear lead before the judging break with a lovely performance from the 11-year-old Uzzo that included elegant piaffe and passage for a mark of 76.425 – a personal-best Freestyle score for this talented partnership.

Third to go of the final group however, Langehanenberg and Damon Hill were stunning from start to finish, the stallion’s big, clean and rhythmic passage, his boldness in canter and his stillness in piaffe, their steadiness, fluency and togetherness and their overall air of absolute confidence saw them rewarded with artistic marks of 94.000 per cent by Wuest, 92.000 from both Eisenhardt and Fouarge, 91.000 per cent from Almasy and 86.000 from Tornblad.  The crowd erupted with delight and appreciation as 87.800 went up on the scoreboard.

Now it was simply a matter of who could come closest, and multiple champion, 43-year-old Isabell Werth, steered Don Johnson to a score of 83.000 before 23-year-old Anna Kasprzak launched into her floor plan that began with canterwork and earned her a mark of 81.075 with Donnperignon.

The remaining Danish partnership of Johansen and Schianto were second-last to go, and the 14-year-old horse, who always looks as if he is thoroughly enjoying himself in the ring, showed tremendous elevation in passage and piaffe, power and courage in extended canter and a general joyousness that has proven particularly infectious this season. Their mark of 80.050 didn’t please the onlookers, but Johansen’s ear-to-ear grin showed that she knew they had once again produced a crowd-pleasing effort.

Sprehe was last into the ring, and the 26-year-old rider could have been forgiven for a little uneasiness as the crowd’s reaction to Johansen’s score seemed to disturb the concentration of her horse at the very start.  But the pure quality of his movement was sufficient to guarantee a strong result for Desperados who recovered to demonstrate strong piaffe and piaffe/pirouette on their way to clinching runner-up spot with 84.425 per cent.


For Langehanenberg, the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage series has been pivotal.  “It’s true, I have grown up in this series; it has helped me to be better in every way!” said the rider who first came to real prominence during the 2010/2011 season. While well-known on the national circuit prior to that, she only really began to show her colossal potential at international level throughout the winter of 2010 and, over the two subsequent seasons, she has blossomed into a super-star of the sport. Runner-up behind Cornelissen at last year’s Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final, she looks well set to oust her biggest rival this time around if all goes to plan.

But bragging and boasting is not her style. So when asked today if she thought she could leave Cornelissen in her wake when it comes to the Final in Gothenburg later in the spring, Langehanenberg said with some stoicism, “We all have so many hopes and so many dreams but they don’t always come true.  My dreams and my aims have always been clear, but I don’t let them put pressure on myself or on my horse.  You just never know how it will work out. We stay focused and we work hard to achieve our goals, I am just very happy that we are succeeding right now,” she pointed out.

That focus is on the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2012/2013 title. Today she was unsure if she would bring out her stallion at ‘s-Hertogenbosch next month. “We will now make a plan for how to use the time in between now and the Final.  I’m not sure yet exactly what we will do; we will make a decision next week,” she explained.  One way or another, she looks set to provide formidable opposition to the rest of the world-class line-up as the series Final begins to unfold….

For further information on the seventh leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2012/2013 series in Neumunster (GER) check out website http://pst-marketing.de/index.php/home-vr-classics.html or contact Press Officer Andreas Kerstan Email andreas.kerstan@comtainment.de, Tel +49 4307 827973, +49 3416 786 012. The next leg, and last qualifier in the Western European League, takes place at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands on Saturday 16 March 2013.  For details of the Dutch fixture go to website http://www.indoorbrabant.com/en/ or contact Press Officer Denise van der Net, Email denisene@xs4all.net, Tel +31 6270 31674.

Result: 1, Damon Hill NRW (Helen Langehanenberg) GER 87.800; 2, Desperados FRH (Kristina Sprehe) GER 84.425; 3, Don Johnson FRH (Isabell Werth) GER 83.000; 4, Donnperignon (Anna Kasprzak) DEN 81.075; 5, Schianto (Sidsel Johansen) DEN 80.050; 6, Uzzo (Patrick van der Meer) NED 76.425; 7, Smeyers Molberg (Marcela Krinke-Susmelj) SUI 73.875; 8, BMC Miciano (Marlies van Baalen) NED 73.850; 9. Biggles (Kristian von Krusenstierna) SWE 73.850; 10, Rubins Royal (Anabel Balkenhol) GER 72.900; 11, Axis TSF (Terhi Stegars) FIN) 71.150; 12, Heimliche Liebe (Emma Kanerva) FIN 71.000; 13, HP Frontier (Sarah Millis) GBR 70.000; 14, Orion (Pia Fortmueller) CAN 69.500; 15, Charming Boy (Sofie Lexner) SWE 67.625.

Full results here.

Facts and Figures:

The penultimate qualifying leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Western European League 2012/2013 series was staged today at the famous Holstenhalle in Neumuenster in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.
The winners, Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg and the stallion Damon Hill NRW, also won the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage qualifier at the same venue last season.
15 riders from eight nations – Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Great Britain and Canada – competed in today’s Freestyle.
Runner-up spot went to Germany’s Kristina Sprehe who subsequently moved into pole position on the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Western European League leader board.
Sprehe holds a slender one-point advantage over long-time league leader Valentina Truppa from Italy.
The last qualifying leg in the Western European League series will take place at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands on 16 March 2013.
The series final takes place in Gothenburg, Sweden 24-28 April 2013.


Helen Langehanenberg – “He [Damon Hill NRW] really has settled everywhere – in the preparation, in the arena and, as I think I have said many times before, it is such a pleasure to ride him!”

Helen Langehanenberg, when asked about how difficult it was to ride in the Holstenhalle in Neumuenster in which the dressage arena is a very tight fit – “[The crowd] is very close to the arena and this makes it extra special.  The spectators are great, and they celebrate every rider even if their test is not so good.  We have lots of standing ovations here!”

Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2012/2013 – Standings after Round 7 at Neumuenster (GER):

1.    Kristina Sprehe GER                –    68
2.    Valentina Truppa ITA                –    67
3.    Helen Langehanenberg GER            –    66
4.    Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven SWE            –    63
5.    Edward Gal NED                    –    55
6.    Patrick Kittel SWE                    –    50
6.    Marcela Krinke Susmelj SUI            –    50
8.    Minna Telde SWE)                    –    49
8.    Isabell Werth GER                    –    49
10.    Sidsel Johansen DEN                –    46
11.    Anna Kasprzak DEN                –    43
12.    Marlies van Baalen NED                –    36
13.    Imke Schellekens-Bartels NED            –    36
14.    Pia Fortmueller CAN                –    31
15.    Patrick van der Meer NED                –    30
16.    Anabel Balkenhol GER                –    29
17.    Kristian von Krusenstierna SWE            –    27
18.    Lyndal Oatley AUS                     –    23
18.    Silvia Rizzo ITA                    –    23
20.    Karin Kosak AUT                    –    22

FEI World Cup Dressage, the only worldwide series in this discipline, has entered its 28th season. The series, created in 1985, comprises four leagues: Western European, Central European, North American (including Canada) and Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Asia). Each FEI World Cup Dressage qualifier consists of a Grand Prix test, which in turn is a qualification for the Freestyle to music competition, where league points are accumulated towards places in the Final. Judged on both technical and artistic merit, the FEI World Cup Dressage combines art, sport and partnership between horse and rider at the highest level and consistently proves a winning formula with audiences all over the world.

The complete rules, calendar, updated ranking and results are available here.

The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), founded in 1921, is the international body governing equestrian sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and includes 133 National Federations. Equestrian sport has been on the Olympic programme since 1912 with three disciplines – Jumping, Dressage and Eventing. In 2012 equestrian sport will celebrate its centenary as an Olympic sport. It is one of the very few sports in which men and women compete on equal terms. It is also the only sport which involves two athletes – horse and rider. The FEI has relentlessly concerned itself with the welfare of the horse, which is paramount and must never be subordinated to competitive or commercial influences.

FEI YouTube: http://youtu.be/pf7Tsq53Bdg.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:
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Grania Willis
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Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Media Relations
+41 78 750 61 33

Silvia Rizzo Wraps Up South Florida Success before Heading Home

Wellington, FL – February 15, 2013 – As Italian dressage star Silvia Rizzo wraps up her impressive South Florida debut, the combination of high-level competitive opportunities and a friendly, supportive atmosphere at shows has her already looking forward to next year.

The proximity to the beach doesn’t hurt either, and Rizzo has been taking in the Florida attractions between shows and training sessions on the striking Oldenburg stallion Donnerbube 2. The balance of hard work and a little relaxation seems to be working, as Rizzo and “Bubi” have put in some of their best performances to date.

“I’ve broken three of my personal records here: Grand Prix score in a 5*, Grand Prix Special score in a 5*, and Kür score in a World Cup event,” Rizzo said.

“Bubi loves it here,” she added, explaining that he enjoys the quiet atmosphere where he is stalled at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in Palm Beach County. Along with Rizzo, Bubi has become a fan favorite and regularly poses for photos with his admirers.

Rizzo has put together a series of steadily improving performances in Grand Prix competition. Most recently, she and Bubi took seventh in the Grand Prix on a sweltering hot day at the Wellington Classic Dressage Spring Challenge CDI3* (Feb. 8-10), and then put all the pieces together for a standout third-place effort in the Grand Prix Freestyle. Other season highlights include top scores and a fifth place finish in the Grand Prix Freestyle at the World Dressage Masters CDI5* Palm Beach, along with seventh place finishes at the Wellington Dressage CDI-W and Gold Coast Opener CDI-W.

Rizzo’s success in Florida has helped her move up the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Standings. Her 23 points place her 15th in the competitive Western European League.

Rizzo gives the thumbs-up after her test on Donnerbube 2 at the Wellington Classic Dressage Spring Challenge CDI3*
Rizzo gives the thumbs-up after her test on Donnerbube 2 at the Wellington Classic Dressage Spring Challenge CDI3*

“I want to thank everybody for the hospitality and for the friendship here,” Rizzo said. “I want to thank the organizer and everybody that supported me, as well as the Americans, who were so friendly to me. I really enjoyed meeting new riders and establishing new connections.”

Michele Betti, Rizzo’s partner and the former chef d’equipe for the Italian eventing team, noted that the number and proximity of competitions in South Florida make it an appealing destination for European competitors, who often have to travel long distances between competitions.

“When you are here, all the competitions are close together, so you don’t have to travel a lot,” he said. “In Europe, we have a lot of competitions, but for example, when we have to go to Spain, we have to drive nearly 2,000 kilometers. The weather is another thing, honestly. I spoke with some people in Germany this morning and it was minus six (degrees Celsius). So it’s difficult.”

“It’s important to know other people, to open a little bit the mind, and try to understand,” Betti continued. “For example, here we can meet some people from Venezuela or Canada. We don’t have that opportunity when we are in Europe – they don’t come there.”

Rizzo and Betti credit the ample opportunities to compete as key to Rizzo’s improvement. “I think it’s a big help to compete one week after the other,” Betti explained. “You are all the time more focused. And if you learn that something is not so good, you have the opportunity to practice immediately, and you see how it’s working the week after. Every time you have to find something new to improve.”

“If you have one competition after two months, it’s much more difficult,” he pointed out. “You lose time, in one sense. You arrive in the next competition, you have forgotten which is your problem of the competition before.”

Spectators charmed by Rizzo’s bubbly personality, as well as those who haven’t yet seen the fashionable blonde in action, will be happy to hear that she plans to set up shop in South Florida for several months next year. She will bring several horses from Hof Marabunta, her base in Germany, to train and compete. Rizzo and Betti, an accomplished eventing and show jumping trainer, both look forward to taking on American students, who will benefit from the pair’s expertise and international experience.

To see an exclusive interview with Sidelines TV, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQ47JJA6BOk.

To follow Rizzo on the road to August’s ECCO FEI European Dressage Championships in Denmark, follow Hof Marabunta on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/HOF-MARABUNTA/163706307019334?fref=ts.

For more information about Silvia Rizzo and Hof Marabunta, go to www.hofmarabunta.com.

Mary Adelaide Brakenridge for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Phelps Media Group, Inc.
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Wellington, FL 33414
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