Saturday, February 26, 2011

Jumping: Wellington: WEF; McLain Ward and Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve Triumph in $78,000 Fidelity Investments® CSI 2* Grand Prix

McLain Ward and Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve won the $78,000 Fidelity Investments® CSI 2* Grand Prix during week seven of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival,

For Immediate Release
Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Wellington, FL - February 26, 2011 - Saturday night at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival featured an exciting victory for McLain Ward (USA) and Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve in the $78,000 Fidelity Investments® CSI 2* Grand Prix. The class was held on a beautiful Florida evening under the lights at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Riders representing 12 different countries made up the international field this evening, showing over a course designed by Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany. Thirty-seven entries began the class, and seven were able to jump clear in the first round. An exciting jump-off followed, as some of the best riders in the world battled for top honors. The United States took home the top three places with Olympians McLain Ward, Beezie Madden, and Margie Engle leading the class.

McLain Ward talks about his victory in the $78,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival:

A father and daughter each riding for France, Marie and Michel Hecart, were the first two riders to jump clear over the first round course to advance to the jump-off. Marie rode Myself De Breve, owned by Haras De La Rogue, through the jump-off course with eight faults in 44.72 seconds to finish in sixth. Michel and Babbe Van't Roosakker, also owned by Haras De La Rogue, immediately followed and jumped in 46.44 seconds with four faults at the last fence to place fourth.

Schuyler Riley (USA) and South Beach Stables' Lapacco returned next and finished with four faults in 48.57 seconds to finish in fifth place.

Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo were the first pair to jump double clear and stopped the clock in 42.81 seconds to take the lead, eventually finishing in second place.

Margie Engle returned next with Indigo, owned by Griese, Garber, Hidden Creek and Gladewinds, but an unfortunate rail at the second to last fence cost the duo four faults and their time of 45.13 seconds landed in third place.

McLain Ward, of Brewster, NY, really wanted the win tonight after finishing second in several grand prix classes over the WEF circuit. Ward's motivation led to a fast, clear ride aboard Louisburg Farm's Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve to top the leaders. Ward and Pjotter stopped the clock in 42.08 seconds, the fastest round of the night.

McLain Ward and Pjotter with ringmaster Cliff Haines,
owner Beth Johnson,
and Mark and Katherine Bellissimo of Equestrian Sport Productions

The final competitor in the jump-off was Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and his mount Amaretto D'Arco, owned by Spy Coast Farm. Three rails cost the pair 12 faults and they finished in seventh place.

Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve is a ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Plato x Emilion. Ward explained that he started riding Pjotter in the Low Schooling Jumpers last year and the talented chestnut has advanced quickly. "Beth Johnson was nice enough to give me the ride on this horse and he has been a star since he came out," Ward smiled. "I'm kind of excited about the future with him. I did the night Grand Prix in week two and he had four faults but went brilliantly and he has been clear in three or four of the WEF Challenge Cup classes. He is just a cool horse. He's electric careful and he has a big heart. I think he trusts me and I believe in him. It has been a really great match."

Speaking about his winning ride in the jump-off, Ward stated, "I got to see Beezie go on the (mini jumbotron) in the warm-up area and I know her horse has a very big stride. Pjotter is a little inexperienced, but he's naturally a very fast horse. I was a little concerned with the rollback on the triple bar because he's very careful. I thought if I didn't meet that right I was in a little bit of trouble, but it showed up great. I knew I could run across the middle of the ring to that second to last vertical and he wouldn't touch it. I figured I'd give it a shot. I've had a lot of second places and I got nipped by Beezie last week, so it was certainly in the back of my head; I wanted to give it a go."

"In the end, I think it was a brilliant course," Ward added. "There were a lot of long gallops with a tight time allowed, so I think the horses got a little unraveled and it caused them to get flat towards the end of the course and have rails. I had a young student in the class and she had a few rails, but she came out more confident. I think that's really important with these two star grand prix. You can start a young horse or a young rider while still not killing them and also testing the better combinations in the class; that's a very difficult thing to do."

Beezie Madden has had two big wins recently at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival and added a great finish this evening to her success. Madden rode Abigail Wexner's Mademoiselle to victory in the $31,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 6, then went on to guide Prima, owned by Neapolitan Holding Co., LLC to a win in the $50,000 G&C Farm Palm Beach Jumping Derby last Sunday. A second place with Coral Reef Via Volo tonight continued Madden's fantastic run through the WEF circuit.

"I thought I was pretty fast, but McLain is of course a really fast rider and that horse is pretty fast. There's always a chance somebody can beat you," Madden said of her round tonight. "My horse has such a big stride that I think I could have done five to the double, but I wanted to be a little sensible because she is in the Nations Cup next Friday; I didn't want to take a big risk."

"I was really happy with my round and the way she went," Madden expressed. "This was her first time under the lights this year, which is why I wanted to show her this week before Friday. I was slow getting started this year because I had a speed horse and then I didn't really show a lot, but we are getting going now and things are working out."

Margie Engle was also pleased with her mount Indigo's performance tonight, and wanted to get her horse in the ring under the lights as well before next week's Nations Cup. "He's still learning about the speed part, but he felt super in the first round and I thought he jumped around very easily," Engle noted. "He had a light rub at the one jump, but I was really happy with how he went overall. He always feels good! I don't think he ever gets tired. He feels like he's on springs, almost on a trampoline half the time. He has more energy than any horse I think I've ever ridden."

Earlier in the day, Emilie Martinsen took home the top prize in the $15,000 ECB Equine Spa High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.   

The FTI Winter Equestrian Festival's seventh week of competition, sponsored by Fidelity Investments, will conclude on Sunday with the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic at 1 p.m. The 2011 WEF will continue through April 3 and award more than $6 million in prize money.

For full results please visit and for more information, visit

Final Results: $78,000 Fidelity Investments® CSI 2* Grand Prix

1 PJOTTER VAN DE ZONNEHOEVE: 2001 Dutch Warmblood Gelding by Plato x Emilion
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Louisburg Farm: 0/0/42.08

2 CORAL REEF VIA VOLO: 1998 BWP mare by Clinton x Heartbreaker
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Coral Reef Ranch: 0/0/42.81

3 INDIGO: 2000 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Indoctro x Unknown
MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Griese, Garber, Hidden Creek & Gladewinds: 0/4/45.13

4 LAPACCO: 1999 Holsteiner gelding by Lavaletto x Grundyman
SCHUYLER RILEY (USA), South Beach Stables: 0/4/48.57

5 BABBE VAN'T ROOSAKKER: 2001 BWP mare by Kannan x Unknown
MICHEL HECART (FRA), Haras De La Rogue: 0/4/46.44

6 MYSELF DE BREVE: 2000 SFA mare by Quidam de Revel x Grand Veneur
MARIE HECART (FRA), Haras De La Rogue: 0/8/44.72

7 AMARETTO D ARCO: 2000 BWP stallion by Darco x Tenor Manciais
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm LLC: 0/12/46.76

8 ONISHA: 1999 Holsteiner mare by Caretino x Athlet Z
REED KESSLER (USA), Reed Kessler: 4/73.79

9 CRISTALLO: 1998 Holsteiner gelding by Caretino x Cicero
RICHARD SPOONER (USA), Show Jumping Syndications International: 4/73.80

10 BON AMI: 2001 BWP gelding by Pavarotti VD Helle x Unknown
SCOTT BRASH (GBR), Liz Mctaggart: 4/78.17

11 FAROUKH: 1998 RHEIN gelding by Rembrandt x Lanier II
SARAH WAYDA (USA), Sarah Wayda: 4/78.91

12 NICE DE PRISSEY: 2001 Selle Francais stallion by Rosire x Amarpour
BRIANNE GOUTAL (USA), Cloverleaf Farm: 4/80.34

Hunters: WEllington: WEF: Lillie Keenan Sweeps Tricolor Awards in Large Junior 15 & Under Hunters

Lillie Keenan and C Coast Z are the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under 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 26, 2011 - The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, which runs through April 3, awarded more champions today for its seventh week of competition this season. The younger section of Large Junior Hunters were among those awarded today as the weekend continues here at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Lillie Keenan was hard to beat this weekend aboard her two Large Junior Hunter entries. While she is not new to the winning ranks of the hunter rings, she was visibly delighted with the end results of this weekend's competition.

Keenan rode the Chansonette Farm entry, C Coast Z, to the championship this morning. C Coast Z is an eleven-year-old grey Warmblood gelding by Champion Du Lys. "We bought him as an equitation horse, but I did him in a few junior hunter classes just to get going and did so well, we thought, 'Ok, we'll keep him as that,'" said Keenan about C Coast Z. Keenan and C Coast Z won three classes and placed second in another to secure the division's championship.

Keenan rode the Chansonette Farm entry Madison to the reserve championship as well. The pair won two classes, placed second in one class, and fifth in another to clinch the reserve tricolor. "She was originally a jumper, but we bought her as a hunter in Europe," Keenan explained about how she came to have Madison.

"They are both great, but they are kind of opposite rides. Coast is more of kicking and trying to wake him up, where Madison already has her own motor," Keenan compared.

Keenan enjoys doing the derby and night classes on both horses as well. "I can do both horses in the night classes which is great because I really enjoy doing that. Being able to go under the lights and do the high options if you have horses that are willing to do that, is a lot of fun."

Keenan, who resides in New York City, flies back and forth between the city and Wellington so that she can continue showing, as well as go to school. "I'm really lucky that my school is so flexible. I miss every Friday during circuit so that I can come here on Thursday nights, and then I fly back to New York on Sundays."

Tomorrow, the Small Junior 15 & Under Hunters, presented by Martha Jolicoeur and Illustrated Properties, will award their championship. Stay tuned for champions and the weekend's winners as the seventh week of competition comes to a close tomorrow at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.

For full results please visit
or for more information, visit

The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 12 through April 3. 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 $6 million in prize money will be awarded.

WEF is proud to be supported by their title sponsor, FTI Consulting, Inc. 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 3,600 employees located in most major business centers in the world, they work closely with clients every day to anticipate, illuminate, and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management and restructuring. For more information, please visit

Dressage: FEI: Reem Acra World Cup: Gothenburg: CORNELISSEN MAKES IT FOUR IN GOTHENBURG by Louise Parkes

The Netherlands' Adelinde Cornelissen, pictured with Lisa Wells of Reem Acra, secured her fourth victory in the 2010/2011 Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage series at Gothenburg, Sweden today.  Photo: Roland Thunholm/FEI.

Goteborg (SWE), 26 February 2011

FEI TV - Enjoy highlights, interviews and archive footage at

Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival recorded their fourth victory of the 2010/2011 Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage season at Gothenburg, Sweden tonight and jumped to the top of the Western European League leaderboard ahead of the final qualifier on their home turf at 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands in three weeks' time.

The 32 year old rider and her 14 year old horse produced a more harmonious test than ever before, and Cornelissen declared herself delighted with the result.  Sweden's Patrik Kittel finished a close second however with a personal-best result from his stallion Watermill Scandic HBC while Germany's Isabell Werth and Warum Nicht FRH had to settle for third.

In a competition that was very much "a game of two halves", many of the early riders produced low scores. Ground Jury President, The Netherlands' Wim Ernes, said "tonight we saw some bad tests....but the top riders did a good job".  He added "we saw today in the first group, a lot of riders who did not have enough impulsion and so made a lot of mistakes".

Sweden's Rose Mathisen and Bocelli, fifth to go of the 15 starters, were the first to break the 70% barrier with a score of 70.225 which still held the lead at the halfway stage.  And, as the competition resumed, they remained out in front when Belgium's Marc Peter Spahn and his Friesian stallion put 68.450 on the board.  Next in was Denmark's Andreas Helgstrand however, who raised the bar with a score of 72.525 riding the nine year old mare Polka Hit Nexen.  This partnership impressed the Ground Jury - "this is a young horse and there were problems with temperament but there were also some real highlights - the scores ranged from 9's to low marks as a result" Wim Ernes explained.

Two horses later, Cornelissen and Parzival brought a whole new dimension to the competition with a score of 82.875.  Despite the close proximity of the spectators, the big chestnut gelding who has so often been fazed by the crowds remained focused and free-moving to produce sparkling piaffe and pirouettes that were perfectly balanced and light.  This was a test that oozed confidence, and as they executed their final movements you could hear the intake of breath from the audience who knew they were watching something special.

Kittel then put 81.025 on the board with a performance that surprised even himself.  "I got a score of over 80.00 - it's something I've only ever dreamed about, and it's just amazing to do my personal best here in Gothenburg!" he said with a big smile.  "The atmosphere was very intense and he was on his toes but I was super-happy with a lot of his stuff!" he added.

Dutch rider Jenny Schreven followed him into the arena for a mark of 72.900 and this proved good enough for fourth place in the final analysis.  Wim Ernes was most impressed with the work the 25 year old produced from the veteran, Krawall.  "This is an old horse - I believe he is 19, and it's amazing that he can still perform like this - I think he is enjoying a second youth, and she (Jenny Schreven) is a real talent.  She's young and its very nice to see her ride like this - she did a good job yesterday and today" he pointed out.

America's Catherine Haddad and Winyamaro scored 70.650 when second-last to go and now only Werth and Warum Nicht stood between Cornelissen and her fourth win of the season.  Punished for some mistakes however, the German duo's mark of 79.775 would not present a major threat.  Werth didn't seem disappointed afterwards.

"I was quite satisfied.  We did better canter-work and my horse was more relaxed but we did have a little mistake in the half-pass" she pointed out.  Cornelissen explained that her biggest battle tonight was with her own health because she had been feeling ill since winning Friday night's Grand Prix.  She said however that she was disappointed with the points she received for tonight's test - "at the Europeans I scored 86.000 yet this was a better test and I only got 82.000 - maybe the judge can explain?" she said looking at Mr Ernes.  He replied that she had done "a very good test" but that "sometimes the horse was a little short in the neck - but it was a good total picture" he explained.

Cornelissen now heads for the last qualifier in the 10-leg Western European League season at 's-Hertogenbosch at the end of March but is under no pressure ahead of the final in Leipzig, Germany having proven her form by adding the Gothenburg trophy to the ones she claimed earlier in the season at Stockholm, London and Amsterdam.   She now tops the Western European League table with a three-point advantage over Germany's Ulla Salzgeber in second and has a six-point lead over third-placed Werth.

For further information on the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage qualifier at Goteborg, Sweden check out website or contact Press Officer Mayvor Thorin at Email / Tel: +46 705 828 420.  The next leg takes place at 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, 24-27 March 2011.  For all information on the Dutch fixture go to website or contact Press Officer Denise van der Net at Email or Tel: T: +31 (0)499.391687

RESULT:  1, Jerich Parzival (Adelinde Cornelissen) NED 82.875;
2, Watermill Scandic HBC (Patrik Kittel) SWE 81.025;
3, Warum Nicht FRH (Isabell Werth) GER 79.775;
4, Krawall (Jenny Schreven) NED 72.900;
5, Polka Hit Nexen (Andreas Helgstrand) DEN 72.525;
6, Divoza Horseworld Ovation (Christa Laarakkers) NED 72.125;
7, Lydianus (Charlotte Haid Bondergaard) SWE 71.025;
8, Winyamaro (Catherine Haddad) USA 70.650;
9, Bocelli (Rose Mathisen) SWE 70.225;
10, Pro-Set (Lillann Jebsen) NOR 69.000;
11, Fryso Huys Cas (Marc Peter Spahn) BEL 68.450;
12, Richelle (Ulla Hakanson) SWE 67.425;
13, Le Beau (Philippe Jorissen) BEL 67.350;
14, Horsebo Smarties (Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein) DEN 67.075;
15, Lomumba Havdal (Per Sandgaard) SWE 66.850. 
Full result at

Today's competition at Gothenburg, Sweden was the ninth qualifying leg in the 2010/2011 Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Western European League series.

Just one further qualifier will take place, at 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands from 25-27 March, before the final in Leipzig, Germany 27 April to 1 May.

This was the fourth victory in the current series for The Netherlands' Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival.

They now head the Western European League table with 80 points ahead of Germany's Ulla Salzgeber (77) in second and Isabell Werth (74) in third.

The Ground Jury for today's competition consisted of the following members : At E - Mrs Maria Colliander FIN; At H, Dr Wojtek Markowski POL; At C, Mr Wim Ernes NED; At M - Mr Gustaf Svalling SWE; At B, Mrs Annette Fransen-Jacobaeus SWE.

The oldest horse in today's competition was the 19 year old Krawall ridden by The Netherlands' Jenny Schreven.  Krawall finished fourth for the Dutch rider in Friday's Grand Prix which was won by The Netherlands' Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival.

The youngest horse in today's competition was the 9 year old bay mare Polka Hit Nexen, competed by Denmark's Andreas Helgstrand.

The oldest rider in today's competition was 74 year old Ulla Hakanson from Sweden while the youngest rider was Norwegian 23 year old Lillann Jebsen - an age difference of 51 years between the two ladies!

On Friday, the FEI announced the creation of sa lead judging post, entitle Dressage Judge General, to ensure greater consistency and accuracy of judging at all levels of Dressage competition and Ghislain Fouarge (NED) became the first appointee.

The first term of office for the Dressage Judge General will be two years, and the position will always be filled by a 5* judge.

The FEI has also appointed Eric Lette (SWE), David Hunt (GBR) and Dieter Schuele (GER) to the Judges Supervisory Panel (JSP).

Adelinde Cornelissen - "Parzival is getting much more relaxed in the arena - now he likes the audience and the applause and the attention so the whole picture is getting better".

Wim Ernes - "It is important at Grand Prix level that a horse carries himself".

Patrick Kittel, when asked if he thought he could improve his performance enough to beat Adelinde Cornellisen - "you never think like that, you just think about getting better, what you can change and what you can do better"

Patrick Kittel, when asked if he would be attending the last qualifying leg at 's-Hertogenbosch - "my wife's sister is getting married in Australia at that time so I won't be going".

Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2010/2011 - Standings after Round 9 in Gothenburg, Sweden:
1.    Adelinde Cornelissen NED                -    80
2.    Ulla Salzgeber GER                        -    77
3.    Isabell Werth GER                        -    74
4.    Hans Peter Minderhoud NED                -    60
5.    Catherine Haddad USA                    -    57
       Patrik Kittel SWE                        -    57
       Richard Davison GBR                    -    57
8.    Helen Langehanenberg GER                 -    55
9.    Christa Larakkers NED                    -    53
10.    Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein DEN            -    44
11.    Jeroen Devroe SWE                    -    42
12.    Nina Hofmann SWE                        -    37
13.    Matthias Alexander Rath GER                -    35
        Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven SWE                -    35
15.    Mikaela Lindh FIN                        -    31
16.    Sune Hansen DEN                        -    29
17.    Aat Van Essen NED                        -    26
18.    Stefan Van Ingelgem BEL                -    25
19.    Charlotte Haid-Bondergaard SWE            -    24
         Ulrike Prunthaller AUT                    -    24 

Western European League Calendar 2010/2011:
1        Odense (DEN), 21-24 October
2        Lyon (FRA), 27 October - 1 November
3        Stockholm (SWE), 26-28 November
4        London Olympia (GBR), 14-15 December
5        Frankfurt (GER), 15-19 December
6        Mechelen (BEL), 26-30 December
7        Amsterdam (NED), 20-23 January
8        Neumünster (GER), 17-20 February
9        Göteborg (SWE), 24-27 February
10      's-Hertogenbosch (NED), 24-27 March
FINAL Leipzig (GER), 27 April - 1 May

FEI World Cup™ Dressage, the only worldwide series in this discipline, has entered its 26th 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.

Technical Note: The FEI World Cup Dressage™ Champion does not earn points in his/her starts but is automatically qualified to the next Final with two FEI World Cup™ Dressage qualifiers completed. Riders not belonging to the Western European League (WEL) or Central European League (CEL) cannot earn points in the WEL unless they have declared to compete in the WEL 2009/2010. These riders may however transfer the results from a maximum of three (3) WEL qualifiers to their own League. Points earned by CEL riders will be transferred to the CEL standings.

USEF: The EQUUS Foundation and USEF Playing Favorites -- Can You Help?

LEXINGTON, KY -February 26, 2011 - Who is the most beloved equestrian athlete in America? The clock is ticking. The buzzer sounds. Can you prove it? Actually, you can. All it takes is a $5 gift to The EQUUS Foundation and you'll be able to "play favorites" in the nationwide fundraising effort "America's Favorite Equestrian." The EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) jointly launched the charitable mobile texting game in celebration of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and the eight international disciplines represented on the field of play.

Today, both organizations announce the expansion of the inaugural program through 2011, including multiple rounds and eliminations. These rounds will add suspense to the game, as the crowd favorites move forward and those with fewer votes are eliminated. The EQUUS Foundation has also pledged to award a minimum of $10,000 in grants in support of USEF programs within these eight international equestrian disciplines. The discipline generating the greatest number of votes will receive an additional $5,000 grant award for its USEF-affiliated association.

How to Vote:
Visit the link at   For a $5 contribution, you can select your favorite equestrian (listed by discipline) and follow the instructions provided to use mobile texting to vote. After texting your vote, you must reply YES to confirm your vote and $5 donation.

If you want to cast more than six $5 votes in a single month ($30) using your cell phone, a credit card will be required. Please review the separate instructions listed on each equestrian profile.

You can also vote using an online form or vote by mail.

All donations received by the EQUUS Foundation will be used in support of charitable causes.

How it Works:
Round 1 - Voting ends March 31, 2011. In each featured discipline, the six equestrians with the most votes will continue to Round 2.
Round 2 - Voting ends May 31, 2011. In each featured discipline, the five equestrians with the most votes will continue to Round 3.
Round 3 - Voting ends on July 31, 2011. In each featured discipline, the four equestrians with the most votes will continue to Round 4.
Round 4 - Voting ends on September 30, 2011. In each featured discipline, the three equestrians with the most votes will continue to Round 5, the final round.
Round 5 - Voting ends on October 31, 2011. America's Favorite Equestrian will be selected based on the athletes with the highest number of votes recorded in each of the eight disciplines.

Winner Selections:
The athlete from each discipline with the most votes will join the ranks of America's Favorite Equestrian. These winners will be announced in November 2011 at the National Horse Show, taking place at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.

About America's Favorite Equestrian:
America's Favorite Equestrian is an annual interactive fundraising effort presented jointly by partnership of The EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation to honor the stars of equestrian sport in the United States and to raise funds to advance the sport.

The objective is for America's Favorite Equestrian to be an ongoing program with all equestrian disciplines/breeds represented and the winners recognized in a permanent "Hall of Fame". For this inaugural program, the disciplines competing in the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games were selected for the program, with the many of the equestrians selected by the respective Recognized Affiliates of USEF.

For additional information on The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., visit the EQUUS website at or contact The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at telephone (203) 259-1550, email to

About The EQUUS Foundation, Inc.
The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., established in August 2002, as a 501(c)(3) national charitable foundation, seeks to raise public awareness of the value of the horse in society through education and the awarding of grants to charities that use the horse to benefit the public, promote the health and welfare of horses, and elevate the equestrian sport as a whole.

The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors, which is responsible for the selection of the grant recipients. The Board includes: Jenny Belknap Kees, Chairman; Catherine Herman, Vice Chairman; Jane FitzGerald, Secretary/Treasurer; Lynn Coakley, President; David Distler, David Goodwin, Patricia Keenan, Frank Madden, Richard Mitchell DVM, Clea Newman Soderlund, Susan Weber and Visse Wedell.

Thanks to the generosity of its donors, The EQUUS Foundation helps thousands of people and horses each year. Over $1.5 million in grants has been awarded since the first awards in 2003. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail:, website:

Jumping: Wellington: WEF: Enrique Gonzalez Is Speedy in $31,000 G&C Farm 1.45m

Enrique Gonzalez and Katina won the $31,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers during week seven at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival,
Enrique Gonzalez (MEX) and Katina were the winners today in the $31,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers. The new class is part of an initiative to increase FEI ROLEX ranking classes at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Thanks to the support of G&C Farm, owned by Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal, the FTI WEF was able to add eight new FEI ROLEX ranking classes to the schedule. There are now 27 ranking classes during the FTI WEF. G&C Farm has kindly sponsored the 1.45m Jumper division, which adds five of the additional FEI ROLEX ranking classes.

There were 55 entries in today's class, and it was run as a speed class. The course, designed by Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany, featured 12 numbered obstacles with three double combinations. The early leader in the class was G&C Sinatra (owned by Barrios and Gustavo Mirabal) and Pablo Barrios (VEN), who went first and set a time of 67.76 seconds. They would finish in fifth place.

Thirteen horses later, the lead changed hands when Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Coriana van Klapscheut, owned by Artisan Farms LLC, finished the course. The little mare sped around the course and crossed the timers in 66.47 seconds. They would finish in second place.

McLain Ward (USA) and Rothchild, owned by Sagamore Farm, placed third in 67.16 seconds, while Brianne Goutal (USA) and Ballade van het Indihof were just behind in 67.17 seconds for fourth place.

As the second to last horse in the ring, Gonzalez of Mexico City, Mexico, set a blistering pace to win in 64.09 seconds. "She's really fast," Gonzalez said. "The combination of verticals that was giving a lot of trouble, was the best for her. You can get there and just let her do it, and she will figure it out. Many people had faults there, but that gave me a chance. She's always really competitive and really fast. If everything goes right, normally she's there."

Gonzalez has had Katina, a 10-year-old KWPN mare by Iroko x Ahorn, since she was five years old. While she sold to his client as a six-year-old, he traded back for her when she was seven. Last year, they won three classes at Spruce Meadows as well as the Mexican Grand Prix Championship. "She's so careful that I had to take my time with her to show her in the bigger classes," he explained. Gonzalez plans to show her in next week's $75,000 FEI Nations Cup, presented by G&C Farm.

Gonzalez is no stranger to top show jumping competition - he has ridden at the Olympic Games, the World Equestrian Games, and the World Cup Finals. He also served as Mexico's Chef d'Equipe in two Olympic Games and two World Equestrian Games. "I've been around," he said with a smile. "The best thing about this sport is that it gives you a chance with age to learn and learn, and be able to keep doing it even when you are a little bit older."

Competing at the top level, Gonzalez feels that the addition of more FEI ROLEX ranking classes is "very important." He continued, "We're at a big disadvantage to European riders because they have so many classes that count for ranking. For us to go up in the world ranking, it's almost impossible. Every time they do something like this, it's super important for us. I really think we should have more like this."

This is the first time that Gonzalez has competed at the FTI WEF in 10 years. "I came last year to help some of my students and then I decided that this year that I had good enough horses to be competitive. You need to have competitive horses to be able to do something here. For me, it is very important to be here competing with all of these fantastic riders."
Enrique Gonzalez and Katina with ringmaster Cliff Haines and Gustavo Mirabal of G&C Farm Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival,

Final Results: $31,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers

1. KATINA: 2001 KWPN mare by Iroko x Ahorn
ENRIQUE GONZALEZ (MEX), Enrique Gonzalez: 0/64.09

2. CORIANA VAN KLAPSCHEUT: 2002 BWP mare by Darco x Heartbreaker
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC: 0/66.47

3. ROTHCHILD: 2001 SBS gelding by Artos x Elegant De L'Ile
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Sagamore Farms: 0/67.16

4. BALLADE VAN HET INDIHOF: 2001 BWP mare by Thunder Van de Zuuthoeve x Heartbreaker
BRIANNE GOUTAL (USA), Remarkable Farms LP: 0/67.17

5. G&C SINATRA: 1999 KWPN gelding by Epilot x Libero H
PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), G&C Farm: 0/67.76

6. COCO 135: 2001 Mecklenberg gelding by Elite P.B. Cellestial x Monsum
ANDRE THIEME (GER), Seth Vallhonrat: 0/68.58

7. SELECT: 1999 KWPN gelding by Damiro x Voltaire   
PETER LEONE (USA), Lionshare Farm: 0/69.31

8. UNICA VAN DE ROSHOEVE: 1997 BWP mare by Quickfeuer Van Koekshof x GuildfordÆs Comm Decision
ANGELA COVERT-LAWRENCE (CAN), Eastwood Group: 0/70.63

9. DONA EVITA: 2003 BWP mare by Darco x Fleuri Du Manoir
LAURA KRAUT (USA), Brutsaert Trading: 0/71.67

10. LAPSUS DU LAVOIR: 1999 Selle Francais Gelding by Animo x Vol d'Amour
LJUBOV KOCHETOVA (RUS), Ljubov Kochetova: 0/74.63

11. VIGGO: 2002 KWPN gelding by Quick Star x Cantus
BETH UNDERHILL (CAN), Beth Underhill: 0/76.73

12. VOCAS: 2002 KWPN gelding by Hors La Loi II x Voltaire
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Louisburg Farm: 4/67.58

The seventh week of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival will continue tomorrow with the highlight class of the week, the $78,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix, CSI 2* at 7 p.m. in the International Arena.

For full results please visit and for more information, visit

Jumping: Wellington, WEF: Meg O'Mara and Sinatra IV Win Second Leg of the $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Riders Grand Prix Series

For Immediate Release
Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Jennifer Wood for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Wellington, FL - February 25, 2011 - Meg O'Mara and Sinatra IV jumped to victory in the $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Riders Grand Prix on Friday night at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Showing under the lights in the International Arena of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, O'Mara and Sinatra IV were the only pair to jump double clear in the evening's class to earn top honors over a field of 54 starters.

The FTI Winter Equestrian Festival's seventh week of competition continues through Sunday, February 27. Week seven, sponsored by Fidelity Investments, will feature the $78,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix, CSI 2* on Saturday at 7 p.m. and the Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic on Sunday at 1 p.m. The 2011 WEF will continue through April 3 and award more than $6 million in prize money.

Today's class was the second of four qualifiers for the EY Cup Finals, held at the FEI World Cup Finals in Leipzig, Germany. The top three riders at the conclusion of the series will have the opportunity to travel to Germany to compete. The third event, which is a Team Event, will be held on Thursday, March 10 in the International Arena. The final $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix will be held on the grass derby field at The Stadium on Sunday, March 20, 2011. Through their sponsorship, The Dutta Corporation & International Horse Transport will be shipping the winning horse to the Finals and covering travel expenses for the highest scoring rider in this series.

Meg O'Mara and Sinatra IV with Michael Stone of
Equestrian Sport Productions, ringmaster Cliff Haines,
and Carlene Ziegler of Artisan Farms
Meg O'Mara talks about her win with Sinatra IV in the $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix...

Tonight's course was designed by Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany. Petersen set a challenging course for the young riders, and just three were able to jump clear in the first round. Reed Kessler and Ligist returned first for the jump-off and set the standard with a fast time of 45.854 seconds, but an unfortunate rail at the last fence placed the pair in second.

Meg O'Mara rode Don Stewart's Sinatra IV into the ring next and jumped a fast, clear round to take the lead. The pair's time of 45.177 seconds and double clear rounds earned the victory.

Completing the jump-off, Chase Boggio and Hennessey had a rail at the second fence on course to earn four faults in a time of 47.929 seconds, finishing in third place.

David Arcand and Santo's Utopia finished with just one time fault in 77.507 seconds to receive fourth place. Charlotte Jacobs also finished with one time fault riding Promised Land, owned by Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables. The pair stopped the clock in 77.778 seconds to finish in fifth place. Coming in sixth, Quentin Judge and HH Manrique Z had two time faults in 78.860 seconds. Navona Gallegos and Bar X Ranch LLC's No Fear finished with three time faults in 79.996 seconds to receive the seventh place prize.

Class winner Meg O'Mara is from Rumson, NJ, and turns 17 years old tomorrow. O'Mara trains with Don Stewart and Megan Edrick and received help from Ralph Caristo this evening. O'Mara usually shows in Ocala during the winter and was excited to get a win tonight after arriving in Wellington just half an hour before the course walk. "It's really, really exciting because I'm never here," O'Mara laughed. "We had someone ride my horse for the week, and he was really good. It is kind of shocking to go into this huge class and do so well. We were gold medalists in the Prix des States and I won my first grand prix three weeks ago, but this is probably one of the biggest classes I have done."

O'Mara has been riding Sinatra IV for just over a year and will soon be purchasing him. Sinatra IV is an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Churchill. "He's perfect for me," she explained. "I don't like to kick around the course. He is really fiery. Anyone who has schooled in the same ring knows he is a little feisty! He has his quirks, but once he's in the ring he is perfect and he jumps around great."
Reed Kessler and Ligist
Speaking about the course and her ride in the jump-off, O'Mara stated, "When Reed had the last rail, I knew it was going to be hard to go double clean because she's a really good rider! It kind of took a little bit of pressure off so I didn't have to go as fast, but I still went for it because another person had to go after me. The strides were perfect for my horse; it was a good course for him. The time was tight, but we've never had a problem with the time. He was perfect."

O'Mara has her sights set on qualifying to compete in the EY Cup Finals and explained that she has never shown internationally. "This is definitely one of the biggest series that I have done. I really want to try and qualify to go to Europe; it would be amazing. It would be such a great opportunity for me to go at such a young age," the rider noted.

Although she has finished second in both qualifiers so far, 16-year-old Reed Kessler is currently in the lead for the series standings with her clear rounds aboard horses Onisha and Ligist. Talking about her ride tonight aboard Ligist (also known as Goose) Kessler stated, "Last time Goose was in here, we did the six bar and we jumped 6'4". His eyes were definitely wide open tonight. It looked small to Goose, so I guess that was a good warm-up!"

Ligist is an 11-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Levantos II x Robin Z. Praising Ligist, Kessler explained, "He has been fantastic and he has been jumping the WEF Challenge Cup Grand Prix, so he was ready for this height and I think this was the best he has ever gone."

"Goose has a lot of power, but the jump-offs take a bit of finesse," Kessler continued. "He is not the kind that you can whip back and be wrong and figure it out; you just have to be on it. I was a little conservative here and there because I was trying to be neat and sweeping. I knew Meg was behind me and her horse is so naturally fast, so I didn't want to be too conservative. It was a shame that we had that rail; he really just touched it behind. He is usually so brilliant behind, but what can you do? He did all the hard parts so beautifully. It was one of the best jump-offs he has ever done and I am really lucky to have him. I am really, really happy that I have a lead in the series."

Reed Kessler and Ligist with ringmaster Cliff Haines,
Michael Stone of Equestrian Sport Productions, and
Carlene Ziegler of Artisan Farms
Commenting on what it would mean to qualify, Kessler laughed, "I'd kill for it. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life; I want to be an international rider and compete for the U.S. I have shown in Europe multiple times and I love it. There is no better feeling in the world than when you win a class and they fly the flag and play the anthem. It is fantastic exposure and I am so thankful to the Ziegler family and Artisan Farms for sponsoring the series. It is an amazing opportunity to not only be there, but to have the opportunity to compete against the best young riders in Europe. It is a really great way to get your name out there and represent your country and it is hopefully foreshadowing what can come."

Final Results: $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Riders Grand Prix



Rachel Chowanec and Embrujado XI (© Sharon Packer / Horse Sports Photography)

A talented junior young rider on her way up ~ ed

 Despite her tender age of 16, Lendon Gray protégé Rachel Chowanec took home top honors at her first CDI of 2011, in front of top American and European judges; she also won the Trilogy Saddles’ Best Seat award by unanimous decision of the judges’ committee. It’s a result illustrating Trilogy’s philosophy that saddle fit and rider position are crucial in helping both horse and rider achieve their best in performance.

Chowanec’s partner in the FEI Junior Rider Individual Test, 13-year-old PRE (Pura Raza Española or Pure Spanish Horse) gelding Embrujado XI (‘Mouse’), has been her new ‘ride’ for two years, a grown-up mount to succeed the longtime dressage pony who helped Chowanec get started in Junior competition. “We were looking for a while, and one day about two years ago PRE breeder Kim Boyer called and said ‘I think I found the horse.’ That horse was Mouse, and I love him with all my heart.”

Riding with Gray since the age of 9, Chowanec’s dedication to dressage and horses has meant long hours in the saddle, receiving her schooling online, and even relying on horses to soothe her homesickness. “It’s a great experience to ride with Lendon, but it’s meant I’ve been away from home for long periods,” she says.

Hailing from Columbia, Conn., Chowanec reports she got bitten by the dressage bug back in 2000, at age six, and her commitment has only grown since. Trilogy Saddles President Debbie Witty says it’s been a pleasure to watch Chowanec’s development over the years at Gray’s facility. “It’s wonderful to see all Rachel’s hard work pay off, and especially in such a competitive venue as the Gold Coast Dressage Opener,” says Witty.

When asked what Witty hopes to accomplish through the Best Seat Award program, she points out the award was developed with multi-faceted reasons.

“We wanted to publicly declare our commitment to how saddle fit and rider position affect the horse’s capacity to move freely and willingly, at the best level of his or her abilities. We also want to inspire and educate riders to take responsibility for their own riding position, and to get the training they need to improve their own seat,” reports Witty. “A saddle’s fit and the rider’s position shouldn’t impede the horse’s movement anywhere, and if both are correct, they actually enhance horse and rider communication.”

Chowanec joins the ranks of other recent Best Seat winners, such as Justin Hardin, Elizabeth Ball, and Christopher Schruefer: Trilogy Saddles - News & ‘Best Seat’ Award Recipients

As for Rachel Chowanec’s future with Mouse, Witty and Gray both agree that it’s a bright one. “Rachel winning the Best Seat Award is just as impressive as her winning the class,” reports Gray.


About Trilogy Saddles:
Carrying out their philosophy of ‘achieving a greater level of performance and awareness for horse and rider through education, service, and design’ means the Trilogy Saddles team lives and breathes a dedication to comfort, health, performance, and freedom of movement. These qualities are just as important for the horse as for the rider, and it’s up to each Trilogy saddle fitter to ensure that saddle fit and rider position enhance communication, performance, and the overall beauty that is a horse and rider in perfect harmony.

About Debbie Witty:
From the time she could hot walk racehorses, Debbie Witty’s family held her to exacting standards in the family business. That early training has served her well in a life spent amongst horses and horse people, from Witty’s career as a dressage competitor and instructor to her days helping top equestrians in obtaining the best saddle fit. Witty’s life and work have come full circle with Performance Saddlery and Trilogy Saddles, since she’s able to incorporate everything she’s learned as a trainer and rider, as a tack shop owner, and as a saddle fitter certified by the Society of Master Saddlers of England.

For more information contact:
Lisa Kemp –

Dressage: FEI: WEG 2010: Dutch dressage rider Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich's Parzival's Elimination from WEG 2010 May Not Have Been Legal

Jerich's Parzival's tongue nick which prompted the controversial elimination - WEG 2010 (FEI Photo)
Horse and Hound reports that  Dutch dressage rider Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich's Parzival's elimination from the World Equestrian Games (WEG) last year may not have been within FEI rules.

At the time, the media widely reported technical delegate Dr Wotjek Markowski's view that FEI, horsesport's international governing body, rules about blood or foam in the mouth gave the judges "no choice" but to eliminate — and riders no right of appeal.

However, astonishingly, an investigation by continental magazine Horse International found no such rule in either the FEI's dressage, general or veterinary regulations.

As a consequence, the FEI is creating a new rule covering blood in a horse's mouth...  Read the entire Horse and Hound article.

Watch Test Video...

Reining: Bremen: CRI: Austria's Rudi Kronsteiner Wins at Bremen

Austria's Rudi Kronsteiner and the AQHA Mare GK Hollywood Showtime won the CRI in Bremen today riding pattern No. 9  (see below) to a score of 143 points.

Kronsteiner, one of Europe's most successful reiners, was pleased with the performance of  Paul and Cordula Wiesinger's six year-old mare GK Hollywoodshowtime. Kronsteiner said “It was the first show of the year, so I did not put much pressure on her. She was great, exactly what I had expected of her. We had a penalty in the spin, but that was all.”

The mare is by   Hollywood Dun It  out of Showtimes Tinseltown and is owned by the Wiesinger's Shooting Star QH of Niedereulenbach-Rottenburg, Germany.

Jumping: Ocala: HITS: David Beisel Wins His First Grand Prix of the Season as Course Designer Jose “Pepe” Gamarra Makes His HITS Ocala Debut; Derek Petersen and Eli Win the $2,500 Brook Ledge Open Welcome

© ESI Photography.
David Beisel and Always Cullohill on course in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health.
OCALA, FL (February 25, 2011)--It was another beautiful day at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida as David Beisel and Always Cullohill, a 16 year-old Irish Sport Horse, owned by Harlow Investment Enterprises, LLC, took home the win in Thursday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health.