Friday, February 25, 2011

Hunters: Wellington: WEF: Visse Wedell and White Cap Earn Top Honors for the Fifth Time in the Roberto Coin Low Adult Hunters 2'6" Section A

Visse Wedell and White Cap are the Roberto Coin Low Adult Hunter 2'6" Section A champions during the seventh week of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival,
For Immediate Release
Brooke Bidgood for Equestrian Sport Productions

Wellington, FL - February 25, 2011 - The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, which runs through April 3, is well into its seventh week of the winter season here in Wellington. While many hunter riders have seen success while competing at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, not many have seen as much success as Visse Wedell in the Roberto Coin Low Adult Hunters 2'6" Section A.

Wedell rode White Cap to the championship this week. Of the five weeks that Wedell has shown White Cap this year at the WEF, she has been champion all five times. Wedell's impressive record has led her to be a regular invite to the parade of champions on Sunday afternoons in the International Arena. She secured this week's championship by winning three classes and placing second in another class.

The reserve champion in the Roberto Coin Low Adult Hunters 2'6" Section A went to Milan. Mary Tyree rode Milan, a Dutch Warmblood gelding, for the First Partners Inc. Tyree secured the reserve championship by winning one class and placing fifth in another class.

Visse Weddell and White Cap
Wedell leases White Cap, a Trakehner gelding by Lamarc, from Far Niente Equine of Wellington, Florida. When asked just how many times she has been champion aboard White Cap, Wedell explained, "Five times. I say that with gratefulness to all who have helped me get to the ring." She went on to say, "I have great horses and a great team that help get everything ready; I'm definitely lucky to have them."

Wedell has multiple horses showing at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival this season. Among them are Spandau, a green working hunter, and Cloudline, who shows in the junior hunters. Wedell recently purchased Spandau and explained how happy she is with him. "He amazes us every week that he goes to horse show," she said. "He's one of the coolest horses I've ever seen."

As the weekend begins, the junior hunter riders and horses will compete to be the week 7 champions at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.

For full results please visit or for more information, visit


Debby Winkler riding Sakrus © Julia Rau

Debby Winkler (née Malloy), wife of German Jumping legend Hans Günter Winkler, has passed away following a tragic riding accident. Mrs Winkler was seriously injured in a fall at the end of a training session on 18 February and was rushed to the University Clinic in Münster in critical condition. Sadly her injuries were too severe and, despite the best possible medical care, she died on 21 February. She was 51 years of age.

American-born Debby Malloy married five-times Olympic champion Hans Günter Winkler in 1994, having trained with him in Warendorf since 1986. Debby Winkler was successful in many Jumping events, her greatest achievement being a second place finish in the Frankfurt Grand Prix in 1998 with Sakrus HG.

Debby Winkler was a close personal friend to FEI President HRH Princess Haya, who said, "There is a comfort in knowing that horsemen and women who move on from our world, straight from the saddle, have done so on the terms they would have wished for. And yet I cannot find the words to justly pay tribute to Debby. She was so quiet in her ways, so kind and accepting, so humble and gentle that one would have thought she would live forever.

Many of us get into this sport in pursuit of personal greatness and sporting ambition. The race of people like Debby who get into it, and stay with it, for the love of the horse in its absolute purist form, are rare. Rarer still are the ones who strive to conquer the philosophy of the sport and the art form. That was Debby. In her, horse sport has lost one of the greatest human beings and horsewomen it ever had.

My heart goes out to Debby’s beloved husband, and to the Malloy family, for a wife and a daughter who quietly touched so many people in the most profound way, with eternal elegance and dignity. Rest in peace, Debby. We know, beyond all doubt, that every horse in heaven is waiting for you."

The FEI offers sincere condolences to Mrs Winkler’s family, to the German equestrian community, and in particular to her husband Hans Günter Winkler, the only Jumping rider to win seven Olympic medals, and the only equestrian athlete in any discipline to win medals in six editions of the Olympic Games.

The memorial service for Debby Winkler will be held on Tuesday 1 March, at 2pm at the German Olympic Equestrian Committee (DOKR) in Warendorf (GER). Media representatives wishing to attend are requested to register by 2pm on Monday 28 February using this form.

Friday New Zealand Earthquake News and Information

The Latest from Equestrian Sport New Zealand:

Christchurch Earthquake Canterbury HT at McLeans Island postponed

  Eventing Canterbury are postponing the ODE that was to be held on Sunday
  27th February at McLeans Island. The St Johns Ambulance service are not
  able to guarantee attendance, and they are not able to guarantee that we
  would have access to hospital services should they be necessary. Also many
  of our riders are volunteering in some way to assist in the emergency.
  Riders are using their trucks to cart water to parts of the city that are
  without and many are volunteering to assist at shelters and in the rescue
  and recovery teams.
  An alternative date to run the event is being looked into, and will be
  As a result of the circumstances of this postponement ESNZ will be
  approaching the FEI requesting special dispensation for those riders where
  this event was a critical qualification for FEI events this season. If we
  are successful in achieving the dispensation from the FEI it will only apply
  to riders who have met all other qualifications requirements and can show
  they are of the required standard.


  It is with regret that Eventing Waitemata announces the cancellation of
  their 27/28th March Trial due to the continuation of earthworks at our
  Redvale Venue. We would like to thank all riders and officials who supported
  our February Trial at the NEC Taupo.  We look forward to seeing you all next
  season with our newly designed track and water complex.

  However Woodhill Sands has announced that it will run a Trial on Waitemata's
  date 27/28 March. Schedule here
  Riders please note that Woodhill WILL need HELP to run this event - see
  schedule on how you can help and and save yourself some $$$$.

New Zealand Earthquake News and Information

We've just received the following information from Equestrian Sport New Zealand. Included are assistance telephone numbers, horse trial cancellation information and emergency response contact information, and links. ~ ed


ESNZ is pleased to report that we have heard from National Equestrian Centre Convenor Kevin Bowden who reports that the centre at McLeans Island is unaffected by Tuesday's earthquake and caretaker/manager Stan Brown and his wife Lorna are safe and well.