Thursday, June 2, 2011


Pictured during the draw for the third leg of the 2011 FEI Nations Cup™ series at St Gallen, Switzerland today were : L to R - Peter Stossel, President CSIO St Gallen, John Roche, FEI Jumping Director and Henk Nooren, Chef d'Equipe for the French team.  Photo:  FEI/Katja Stuppia.
FEI NATIONS CUP™ 2011 - Draw Report, Round 3
St Gallen (SUI), 2 June 2011

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The American team will be first into the ring for tomorrow's third leg of the 2011 FEI Nations Cup™ at St Gallen, Switzerland.  A total of nine nations will compete, as the Swiss, who were relegated at the end of last season, join the eight Top League countries for a guest appearance on their home ground.

And the host nation looks strong, with Steve Guerdat (Jalisca Solier), Werner Muff (Kiamon), Jannike Sprunger (Uptown Boy) and Pius Schwizer (Carlina) ready to show that their country is still a force to be reckoned with.  The teams will start the first round of the competition in the following order:  1, USA; 2, Denmark; 3, Germany; 4, The Netherlands; 5, Ireland; 6, Belgium; 7, France; 8, Switzerland; 9, Great Britain.

The generous dimensions of the St Gallen arena helps create a big atmosphere and tremendous competition at this popular annual fixture, and, as Dutch Chef d'Equipe, Rob Ehrens, said last week after leading his team to victory in Rome (ITA) "it will be great to be back jumping on grass again at St Gallen.  When the footing is good on grass, then there's nothing better!".

He has already named his side of Piet Raymakers Jr (Van Schijndel's Rascin), Leon Thijssen (Tyson) and father-and-son Eric and Maikel van der Vleuten (VDL Groep Utascha SFN and VDL Groep Verdi) who go into battle lying third on the leaderboard.

The French, defending series champions and winners at St Gallen in 2010, have had a surprisingly poor start this year, but Chef d'Equipe Henk Nooren's confidence should be bolstered by the knowledge that Kevin Staut's great horse, Kraque Boom, will be back in action tomorrow.  The remainder of the his team are Penelope Leprevost, Olivier Guillon and Simon Delestre.

Denmark will be hoping to make some progress from the bottom of the league table, so it will be another tough challenge for newcomers Torben Frandsen, Charlotte Lund, Emilie Martinsen, Thomas Sandgaard and Andreas Schou, but the Americans will also be inspired to put in a big effort.  They are lying third-last, with just six points on the board after two rounds, so George Morris will be applying plenty of pressure on the four he selects from Ashlee Bond, Rich Fellers, Charlie Jayne, Christine McCrea and the on-form Margie Engle.  The USA last won the Nations Cup at St Gallen in 2009.

Great Britain's Rob Hoekstra has a massive amount of experience to rely on in the shape of Nick Skelton, Robert Smith and Tim Stockdale along with Ben Maher and Scott Brash.  The British are lying mid-field on the leaderboard, just one point behind Germany whose team for tomorrow will emerge from Eva Bitter, Jorg Oppermannn, Heiko Schmidt, Jan Sprehe and Holger Wulschner.

At the top end of the table, the Belgians are trailing the Irish by just two points, and tomorrow's competition could turn into a real tussle between these two sides.  The Belgians have really hit the ground running on their return to the Top League this season, and with two World Champions - Phiippe Le Jeune and Jos Lansink - lining out again alongside Dirk Demeersman and Rik Hemeryck they may well find themselves in pole position by tomorrow evening.

Irish team manager, Robert Splaine, has some less-experienced partnerships included in his squad.  For 23 year old Alexander Butler and his horse Will Wimble this will be a big step-up in class if selected, but Butler is one of the many talented young riders continuing to emerge from the vibrant national circuit in Ireland, and with a Grand Prix win at Lummen already under his belt he can be relied upon to give a good account of himself.  Splaine was still undecided about his final four earlier today - he also has American-based Jennifer Crooks and Shane Sweetnam to choose from along with Cameron Hanley and Jessica Kuerten.

It is the Swiss that Splaine is tipping for top-spot tomorrow.  "I'm very proud of my own team this season and I'm hoping for another good day tomorrow but it's always good when the home team wins and I think the Swiss will do well" he pointed out.  FEI Jumping Director, John Roche, agreed.  "I'm sure we will see a spirited and determined performance from the Swiss tomorrow in front of their home crowd" he pointed out, " and I'm sure we can look forward to another tremendous day of top sport and great horsemanship" he added.

The action gets underway at 13.30 local time and you can watch it all, LIVE on FEI TV

For further information on the third leg of the 2011 FEI Nations Cup™ series in St Gallen (SUI) go to website or contact Press Officer Peter Wyrsch, Email, Tel +41 794065207.

FEI Nations Cup 2011 - Standings after Round 2 in Rome (ITA);
1.    Ireland            -    16.0
2.    Belgium            -    14.0
3.    Netherlands        -    13.5
4.    Germany            -    10.0
5.    Great Britain        -      9.0
6.    France            -      6.0
7.    USA                -      5.5
8.    Denmark            -      2.0

The FEI Nations Cup™ is a five-star competition in which official teams representing nations compare their merit. At each event the teams gain points according to their placing. At the end of the 2011 season the team with the highest points wins the FEI Nations Cup™ and the two teams with the lowest points will be relegated to the FEI Nations Cup Promotional League. The highest placed team from the 2011 FEI Nations Cup Promotional League Final and the highest placed Team on the FEI European Nations Cup Promotional League standings immediately prior to the 2011 FEI Nations Cup Promotional League Final will join the FEI Nations Cup™ Top League for 2012.

FEI Nations Cup™ 2011 Calendar:
La Baule (FRA), Friday 13 May; Rome (ITA), Friday 27 May; St Gallen (SUI), Friday 3 June; Falsterbo (SWE), Friday 8 July; Aachen (GER), Thursday 14 July; Hickstead (GBR), Friday 29 July; Dublin (IRL); Friday 5 August.; Rotterdam (NED), Friday 26 August.


Henri Chammartin (SUI) and Woermann during their winning test at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games
Lausanne (SUI), 2 June 2010

Olympic and European Dressage champion Henri Chammartin (SUI) passed away this week at the age of 92. A legend in the Dressage world, he competed in five consecutive editions of the Olympic Games – Helsinki 1952, Stockholm 1956, Rome 1960, Tokyo 1964, and Mexico 1968 – winning a total of five medals.

During his first Olympic participation in 1952, Chammartin was a member of the Swiss team that claimed team silver. He received his second Olympic medal – a team bronze – in 1956.

Henri Chammartin became Olympic champion in 1964 and also won his second team silver that year. He rode the 13-year-old Swedish-bred Woermann which had travelled to Tokyo only as a reserve horse to his stablemate and reigning European champion Wolfdietrich, which was unfortunately lame.

Tokyo 1964 was the first Olympic Games to which horses were flown by aircraft. The Swiss team departed from Amsterdam on 28 September at noon and arrived, with a stop-over in Anchorage, Alaska, on 29 September at 3pm.

Henri Chammartin won his final Olympic medal – a team bronze – in 1968 when he finished ninth individually. That year, he and fellow equestrian Gustav Fischer both became only the second Swiss athletes to have competed at five Olympic Games. Chammartin retired from international competition after the Mexico Olympic Games.

As a young man Chammartin loved music and played the violin. Always the artist, he placed more importance on the expression of the horse’s movements, preferring it to technical precision.

The FEI expresses its sincere condolences to the family of Henri Chammartin and to the Swiss equestrian community.

Weekly USEF International Disciplines Wrap Up

This Week in International Disciplines:
From the USEF Communications Department
Dressage preparations for the Pan American Games continued as Prix St Georges and Intermediaire I competition took place at CDIs across the country. Jan Ebeling swept the small tour at CDI Flintridge with Rosenzauber 8, scoring 70.263% in the Prix St Georges, 70.702% in the Intermediaire I and 70.292% in the Freestyle.

For complete results please visit

At the CDI Lexington, Lisa Wilcox and Pikko del Cerro HU dominated the Small Tour. They scored 71.008% in the Prix St. Georges and 76.624% in the Intermediaire I. Claire Darnell won the Intermediaire I Freestyle with a score 73.458%.

For more information, please visit:

In the small tour at CDI Allentown in New Jersey, Canadian Ashley Holzer took the top spot in the Prix St. Georges, but Cesar Parra, the 2010 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Intermediaire I Dressage Champion, was second on Grandioso with a score of 70.395%. Holzer continued her winning ways in the Intermediaire I, where Endel Ots took second with Toscano on a score of 69.430%. Parra then went on to win the Freestyle with a score of 72.417% Holzer also won the Grand Prix on her veteran Pop Art, local rider Lauren Sammis was second with Sagacious HF with a score of 67.851%. They repeated the one-two placings in the Grand Prix Freestyle.  Melissa Taylor was third behind Sammis in the Grand Prix but led the victory celebration in the Grand Prix Special with Schumacker Solyst on a score of 65.792%.

Please visit: for complete results.


Julian Stiller rode Chapel Amble to a place third finish in the CIC3*at the Subaru Houghton International Horse Trials in England. The Vermont native is now based in the UK. She added one rail in the show jumping and 4.8 time faults to her dressage score of 50.8. Australian Paul Tapner won with Stormhill Michael and Dirk Schrade was second on Hop and Skip for Germany. Information is available here:


The FEI Nations Cup Series stopped in Italy this week and the U.S picked up ribbons at CSIO5* Rome. Ashlee Bond got the week rolling for the U.S. by placing second with Cadett 7 in the Trofeo Impresa Roma, less than a second off Rodrigo Pessoa's winning pace. Rich Fellers followed that up with a sixth place effort of his own in the Trofeo Mercedes Benz Roma on McGuinness. Both classes were on Thursday. The U.S. then put forth a seventh place effort in the Nations Cup on Friday, Margie Engle led the way with just one rail in the second round on Indigo.

On Saturday, Bond was fifth in the Trofeo Unicredit - a 1.40m Speed and Handiness competition with Chivas Z, Engle was also fifth in the Bis Unire, a Young Horse competition, with Starnato. This pair was 10th in another young horse class on Sunday and Engle rounded out the week with an eighth place effort on Indigo in the featured Grand Prix: G.P. Loro Piana Città di Roma.

Results and more information is available here:

The next stop for the Nations Cup Series is in St. Gallen, Switzerland, June 2-5.

At the CSIYO Reims in France the Young Riders and Junior Riders represented the U.S. in winning fashion. Thursday was an extremely successful day for the U.S. riders in preparation for the Nations Cup. Catherine Pasmore won convincingly on Van David in CSIO YR PX Conseil General de la Marne over her two teammates, Karen Polle on With Wings, who was second, and Jessica Springsteen on Cincinatti La Silla who was third. Reed Kessler and Onisha finished seventh, Richard Neal on Transmission was ninth and Pasmore was 10th on her second horse My Boy. In the CSIO Juniors 1.25m Meg O'Mara was third with Smeagle.

The Young Riders were then second in Nations Cup, Catherine Pasmore led off the U.S. team, rebounding from a 13-fault first round on My Boy to improve to eight faults in round two. Karen Polle rode With Wings in the second position to a six-fault effort in the first round but only picked up one time fault in round two. Reed Kessler had the best result, jumping two double clear rounds on Onisha which kept the momentum going and then Jessica Springsteen picked up a time fault in each round - but also added a rail in the second round on Vornado van den Hoendrik. The 16-fault effort left the team second behind the Netherlands who finished on nine faults.

Kessler was fourth in Sunday's Young Rider Grand Prix on Onisha and Meg O'Mara ended the week in France on the highest of notes - not only did she place fourth in the Junior Grand Prix with Sinatra IV, she won the overall Leading Junior Rider Award for her performances throughout the week.

Read Catherine Pasmore's blog:

Cody Auer had three top 10 placings in Belgium at CSI2* Neeroeteren riding Timo. He was eighth in the 1.40m qualifier for the Grand Prix, tenth in another 1.40 m class (out of 68 starters) and then 10th with in the Grand Prix on Sunday with a four fault effort. Results are available here:

Laura Kraut and Lauren Hough represented the U.S. at CSI3* Norten Hardenberg in Germany and Kraut kicked off the week with a ninth place finish on Dina Evita in the Preis des Göttinger Tageblattes Int. Springprüfung. Hough was then sixth with Arizona Pie in the Preis des Göttinger Tageblattes Int. Springprüfung  the following morning. Hough and her veteran mare Casadora finished third in the Preis der Hardenberg-Wilthen AG Int. Springprüfung mit Siegerrunde, also on Friday. On Saturday, Kraut had the second fastest four-fault effort in the 1.50m Speed Class to finish fifth on Teirra in the Gothaer Trophy Int. Springprüfung mit Siegerrunde and Hough rounded out the weekend with a ninth place finish on Sunday in the Finale im Tag der Südniedersächsischen Wirtschaft Int. Gruppen-Springprüfung mit Siegerrunde on Arizona Pie.

Bliss Heers was seventh in the European Youngster Cup with La Jolie with a clear effort in Thursday's class for Under 25 riders. 

More information is available here:


Eric Lamaze (CAN) elevated to number one in Rolex Rankings.

 Watch Eric Lamaze's FEI interview on the FEI TV Viewer on the WEG Central right sidebar.


Lausanne (SUI), 1 June 2011


Olympic champion Eric Lamaze (CAN), 43, is celebrating after securing the world number one slot in the Rolex Rankings for the third time in his career.

The Canadian’s back-to-back Grand Prix wins at La Baule (FRA) and Rome (ITA) on his super-stallion Hickstead have put him 111 points ahead of 31-year-old Kevin Staut (FRA), who had topped the Rolex Rankings since 1 August 2010.

Lamaze first shot to the top of the Rolex Rankings on 1 January 2009 and stayed there for three months. He was back in the number one slot for a second time in July 2010, the month in which he famously won the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen with a broken foot.

Lamaze, who took individual gold and team silver with Hickstead at the Beijing 2008 Olympic equestrian events in Hong Kong, has represented Canada at five consecutive FEI World Equestrian Games™ - 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010 where he earned individual bronze with Hickstead - and at three Pan American Games, at which he earned team bronze in 1999 and team silver and individual bronze in 2007.

European Champion Kevin Staut is now in second place ahead of Billy Twomey (IRE), with Hong Kong individual silver medallist Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) in fourth and Twomey’s compatriot Denis Lynch in fifth.

View complete Rolex Rankings here



1 June 2011

Multiple award-winning actor and producer and United Nations Messenger of Peace Michael Douglas has lent his support to the FEI Awards 2011 by highlighting their significance and calling on the worldwide equestrian community to make nominations.

Commenting on the FEI awards, which reward the horses, men, women and youngsters who have contributed to the progress and excellence of equestrian sport, Douglas said:

“The FEI Awards provide a platform for the global community to applaud riders and organisations for their outstanding achievements. I am delighted to offer my support and urge you to submit your nominations for the 2011 FEI Awards. At the end of the year, in Rio de Janeiro, we will pay tribute to equestrians who have gone above and beyond the call of duty and in doing so, celebrate the very best of equestrian sport.”

Over his hugely successful career, Douglas has walked the red carpet numerous times to receive prestigious awards. These include two Oscars (Best Picture for his production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1979) – a film that scooped Oscars in five categories – and Best Actor for his role in Wall Street (1987). 

Among the many other major box-office hits Douglas has starred are: The China Syndrome (1979), Romancing the Stone (1984), The Jewel of the Nile (1985), Fatal Attraction (1987), Basic Instinct (1992), Falling Down (1993), The American President (1995) and Traffic (2001).

Douglas received the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award at a tribute gala in Los Angles in 2009.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will be the venue of the glittering FEI Awards ceremony, where this year’s equestrian heroes will be rewarded and applauded.

Nominations for the five-category FEI Awards (Reem Acra Best Athlete, HSBC Rising Star, Against All Odds, Development and Best Groom) are open until 31 July at

Hunters/Jumpers: Saugerties: HITS-on-the-Hudson Week I in Review

© ESI Photography.
McLain Ward and Oh' D Eole on course in Sunday's $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.

HITS-on-the-Hudson I in Review: McLain Ward takes first step to defending his crown, Ellen Toon wins her second Devoucoux Hunter Prix, Exhibitors Party at Puttin’ Plus and a look ahead to HITS-on-the-Hudson II

SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (June 1, 2011) — Perfect weather and strong entries highlighted the first week of show jumping at HITS Saugerties as HITS-on-the-Hudson I drew rave reviews from exhibitors competing in the heart of the Hudson Valley.

Leading the way for High-Performance riders was the reigning Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix champion and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist McLain Ward. Picking up where he left off last year, the Brewster, New York native rode his own Oh' D Eole to the blue ribbon in Sunday’s $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, as he took his first step to reclaiming his crown as champion of the Pfizer Million this fall.

Finishing in Sunday’s top three alongside Ward were Olympian Peter Leone of Greenwich, Connecticut in second and Germaine Edelmann of Rexford, New York in third. Edelmann had a strong season at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit and came to Saugerties with six of the eight Grand Prix needed to become eligible for the Pfizer Million. Edelmann was able to pick up two more Grand Prix as well as some great prize money and now enters the Pfizer Million Top 40 in the number 16 spot in the current Rider Rankings.

© ESI Photography.
Danielle Torano and Katina cruise to a victory in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.
Earlier in the week, Danielle Torano of SW Ranches, Florida made her first step on the road to the Pfizer Million when she captured the win in Friday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, aboard her own Katina.

“It’d be great to qualify for the Pfizer Million,” said Torano, after her win on Friday. “This was only my second Grand Prix ever on Katina and this was a great victory for us!"

Currently, HITS Thermal High-Performance rider Rich Fellers (Willsonville, Oregon) leads the way aboard Harry and Molly Chapman’s Flexible in the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix Rider Rankings. Teenage sensation Lucy Davis (Los Angeles, California) and Old Oak Farm’s Nemo 119 stands second, and the third spot belongs to HITS Ocala’s Tracy Magness (Baltimore, Maryland) and Mr. and Mrs. John Bartko’s Tarco Van Ter Moude. However, with four crucial qualifiers remaining at HITS Saugerties this spring, the entire landscape could change before the HITS Saugerties Summer Series of horse shows comes rolling into town.
© ESI Photography.
HITS' Lisa Engel and Marshall & Sterling Insurance's Joey Norick congratulate Brianne Link after winning the $10,000 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic aboard her own Black Diamond.
The professional riders weren’t the only group of riders to excel in the Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix Stadium at HITS-on-the-Hudson I. Brianne Link (South Salem, New York) got the best of 56 starters in the $10,000 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic when she rode JT Farm’s Black Diamond to the triumph.

Tooning In! Ellen Toon leads the way for Hunters
As the top Grand Prix Riders from all over the world fight it out for a place in the starting field for the Pfizer Million, action in the hunter ring is becoming just as intense. With all eyes on the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, the stakes for hunters have never been higher, anywhere!
© ESI Photography.
Ellen Toon and Invincible on course in Saturday's $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.
Amateur rider Ellen Toon of South Salem, New York is on the right track for becoming a part of the richest hunter class in the history of the sport thanks to an exciting win aboard her own Invincible in Saturday’s $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix, where she beat out 64 other starters to take home the blue.

“We decided to come to these three weeks of shows with our entire barn,” said Toon. “This was my third [Devoucoux] Hunter Prix, so I should have my five classes by the end of the spring shows."

Toon and Invincible finished the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit strong with a second-place finish in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix during Week IV, followed by an exciting victory in the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix during Week V when they beat out 70 other horse-and-rider combinations to take home the blue. Toon now has three of the five classes needed to qualify for the colossal Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final during Pfizer Million Weekend at HITS-on-the-Hudson. Currently, Mary Lisa Leffler and Zivago lead the way in the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final Rider Rankings with Jane Gaston and her own Lumiere and Nick Haness and Carolyn Mittler’s Havana sitting second and third, respectively.

In other hunter action, Albany’s Stepping Stone Farm led the way during HITS-on-the-Hudson I. In the Low Hunter Division, professional rider Amy Momrow took the top prize aboard Hannah Patten’s Wolfgang as well as Reserve Champion honors in the irons of Jessica Pletka’s Blue Monday. In the Baby Green Hunters, fellow professional Shaine Brooks kept the winning streak alive for Stepping Stone Farm when she took Champion honors aboard Jerry Bilinski’s Close Encounter. Students Caroline Renker (USEF Medal), Mary Abbruzzese (USEF Talent Search Medal) and Tess Renker (Adult Equitation) each scored major triumphs in equitation action for the Albany, New York barn, as well.

Party Time!
Hundreds of people flocked to the first exhibitor party of the season at Puttin’ Plus and were treated to free go-kart rides, miniature golf, batting cages and laser tag! HITS-on-the-Hudson is sure to keep exhibitors quite busy as the social calendar is packed with plenty of out-of-the-ring fun! This Thursday evening, the HITS Sip and Sail will take place on The Teal, as exhibitors have a chance to watch the sunset aboard HITS’ Official Charter Yacht on the Hudson River. Then on Saturday, the annual Taste of HITS restaurant showcase will take place at the horse show from noon to 2pm in the Pavilion. This popular event is sure to be a crowd pleaser as area eateries will come to the show grounds with samples from their menus.

What’s on Tap?
Show jumping will continue this week with HITS-on-the-Hudson II, as High-Performance riders will have two more opportunities to qualify for the Pfizer Million with the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, which will serve as a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on Friday, June 3. Then on Sunday, June 5 the stakes get even higher with the $75,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. Hunters will have their next opportunity to qualify for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final on Saturday afternoon with the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix.

HITS, Inc. produces high-quality, international-level hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS has been producing shows since 1982 and is now a nationwide company with world-class circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York and Virginia. In 2010, HITS took the industry to new heights when it hosted the first-ever Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix. HITS will once again offer the most innovative weekend in show jumping history in 2011 when it hosts the second annual Pfizer Million and the inaugural Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, September 10-11, at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.