Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Lausanne (SUI), 9 August 2011

Organisers from five nations – Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, The Netherlands, and Poland – have applied to stage a European championship for Seniors in one or several FEI disciplines in 2015 under a new bid process launched by the FEI in March of this year. The objective of the new bid process is to raise the profile of the FEI European Championships by selecting candidates able to deliver sporting events of the highest quality.

Aachen, host of the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games™ and the famous annual World Equestrian Festival, has expressed interest in the FEI European Championships 2015 in Jumping, Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Vaulting and Reining. The discipline which attracted the highest interest is Eventing, for which no less than five applications have been received. The complete list of applications is available in the attached table.

The bidding process for the 2015 FEI European Championships for Seniors was launched in March 2011 and will run until April 2012. The process consists of two phases. During Phase I, the Applicant Phase which ended on 31 July 2011, applicants were required to indicate which one or more of the European Championships they would be interested in staging and provide information relating to their ability to meet minimum Championship requirements.

Phase II, the Candidate Phase, will begin on 1 September 2011. During the Candidate Phase, candidates will be required to provide greater detail on all aspects of the event. The Championships in the Olympic disciplines of Jumping, Dressage and Eventing will be allocated by the FEI Bureau in April 2012. The successful candidates for the Championships in the Non Olympic disciplines will be announced a year later in April 2013.

Enquiries relating to the bid process should be directed to FEI Legal Counsel Francisco P. Lima (francisco.lima@fei.org).


Lausanne (SUI), 9 August 2011

The FEI will be running a special session during the 2011 World Equine Veterinary Association (WEVA) Conference in Hyderabad, India on 2 November 2011 to mark World Veterinary Year.

2011 has been designated World Veterinary Year to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the first veterinary school in Lyons (FRA) and the birth of the modern veterinary profession.

The FEI session at the WEVA Conference will highlight the past and current contribution of the veterinary profession to equestrian sport with lectures by eminent speakers in a variety of clinical disciplines.

“FEI regulated competitions are the pinnacle of international equestrian sport,” WEVA President Dr Tim Greet (UK) said.

“We are delighted that the FEI has chosen the 2011 WEVA Conference to celebrate the very long partnership between equestrian sport and veterinary surgeons. The entire WEVA Conference promises to be a very exciting event, and offers our delegates a great opportunity to visit India as well.”

FEI First Vice President and Veterinary Committee Chair John McEwen commented: “It is wonderful to be celebrating 250 years of veterinary surgery in the same year as the FEI marks its 90th anniversary.

“Equestrian sport is enjoying a massive increase in popularity across the Asian continent and it is appropriate that we should mark these two anniversaries by joining forces with WEVA at its biennial Conference in Hyderabad.”

USEF: 2011 USEF Pony Finals Ready for Action - By Brian Sosby

Lexington, KY -  It's an annual event that calls to the hearts of pony riders all across the country. And to compete in this revered series of championships is to say "I made it!" among a young rider's peers. It's the 2011 United States Equestrian Federation's Pony Finals National Championships, and it's once again time to sound the call for the country's very best pony competitors to gather at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington and throw down their gauntlets as the nation's best ponies proudly make their marks. The excitement starts on Tuesday, August 9, and concludes with the awarding of the Equisport Insurance/USEF Pony Medal on Sunday, August 14.

Beginning some 53 years ago, the chrysalis was the challenge presented by the British National Pony Society to the American pony riders (under the age of 17) for an international pony hunter competition. The first event was held at the storied National Horse Show in New York City, and both small and large divisions were contested. In 1967, the United States Equestrian Federation (formally AHSA) created the Pony Finals as a national event, open to all members of the USEF who met the qualifying criteria. The current criteria specifies that a pony must win a championship in an "A" rated regular hunter pony section or a championship or reserve championship in an "AA" rated hunter pony section. A green hunter pony may qualify by winning a championship or reserve championship in an "A" or "AA" rated green hunter pony section. Today, U.S. pony riders from across the nation anticipate the opportunity compete in this championship series.

For the uninitiated, the hunters are judged based on their display of manner, way of going, conformation, and jumping form. There are two categories of pony hunters being judged at the event - green and regular. The green hunters are those ponies who have not competed over fences at a certain height, while the regular hunters are those pony/rider pairs with more experience. These divisions are separated by the height of the pony with the small group being those up to 12.2 hands. The medium ponies are over 12.2 through 13.2 hands, while the large group of ponies stands over 13.2 to 14.2 hands high. The heights of the jumps correspond directly with the height of the ponies (small - 2'3" jumps; medium - 2'6" jumps; and large - 3" jumps).  There are three phases of competition - a judging of the pony's conformation, way of moving under saddle, and a final fence jumping test - determine the final outcome and winners named of the 2011 Hunter Pony Championships presented by Sallee Vans.

An equitation competition, known today as the Equisport Insurance/USEF Pony Medal, was added in 1984 to test the rider's abilities over fences. This class pays special attention to the rider's form across the course and their skills at guiding their mount effectively. To qualify for this prestigious battle, riders must win a blue ribbon or accumulate 30 points in a USEF Pony Medal qualifying class. A decade ago saw the addition of the National Pony Jumper Championships where only those pony/rider pairs that have placed in the top four of the respective zones according to highest points earned during the qualifying period are invited to compete. Challengers face a demanding course of fences that test their skills head-to-head as they navigate the technical test.

Across the next six days, many pony dreams will be realized as the 500-plus young riders from every corner of the country come to compete, have fun and make lots of new friends. Daily press releases will provide a recap of the day's action. Be sure to check out the additional coverage at http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2011PonyFinals/.


The Hannoverian mare Woodlander Farouche, with Great Britain's Michael Eilberg on board, produced spectacular scores to take the 5 Year Old title at the FEI World Championships for Young Dressage Horses 2011 at Verden, Germany.  Photo: FEI/Karl-Heinz Freiler.
Lausanne (SUI), 8 August 2011

Over 50,000 visitors descended on Verden, Germany for the FEI World Championships for Young Dressage Horses 2011 over the weekend as the KWPN stallion, Astrix, claimed his second gold medal in succession with The Netherlands' Emelie Scholtens on board.  But the sensation of the event was the Hannovarian mare, Woodlander Farouche ridden by Great Britain's Michael Eilberg, who took the coveted 5 Year Old title with a spectacular score of 9.72%.

Staged in the heart of Lower Saxony, these Championships have long been recognised as the cradle of the equine dressage stars of the future, and this year's crop of youngsters were a truly exciting bunch.


The British-born Woodlander Farouche, bred by Lynne Crowden in Monmouthshire, England, became the talking point of the show when scoring 9.28 to win last Friday's 5 Year Old Qualifier.  The judges awarded scores of 9.5, 9.2 and 9.7 for trot, canter and walk, and 25 year old Eilberg described the mare, which he has been riding since she was three years old, as "an incredible horse".  Looking forward to Sunday's final he added "there is of course more pressure to come, but it is a good feeling that she has already presented such an outstanding performance. This strengthens the self-confidence of both of us" he pointed out.

Second place went to Damon's Divene, daughter of the double World Champion stallion Damon Hill out of a Rubin Royal dam and bred by Christian Becs.  Helen Langehannenberg steered the horse to a final score of 8.76, while two others shared third place.  Belgium's Tom Franckx-Goen was awarded a mark of 8.64 with the Dutch-bred IPS Bon Bravour, and Germany's Jessica Michel matched that with the Hannoverian Swing de Hus.

In Saturday's Final, Woodlands Farouche was even more impressive when the daughter of Furst Heinrich/Dimaggio was crowned champion with a superb score of 9.72.  Breeder Lynne Crowden could not hold back her tears of joy.  The judges complimented Eilberg's excellent riding style after he collected marks of 9.4, 10 and 9.8 for trot, walk and canter, 9.6 for submissivenes and 9.8 for overall impression.  "It is a pure please to ride such a horse" said Eilberg afterwards.  He previously competed Farouche's dam, Dornroschen.  "They are very similar characters" he commented, "both show up in the arena with the intention of doing their job!".

The silver medal in the 5 Year Old division went to Damon's Divene (9.12) and rider Helen Langehanenberg was delighted with the result. The mare is bigger than her sire, Damon Hill, with which Langehanenberg competes successfully on the German team. "Their work ethic is the same" Langehanenberg commented - "simply fantastic!".  The KWPN stallion Bretton Woods, by Johnson/De Niro and ridden by The Netherlands Emmelie Scholtens, improved from sixth place in the Qualifier to take bronze in the Final.  By the Derby winner De Niro, this horse is already sold to Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff (Kronberg) and Paul Schockemohile (Muhlen).


Meanwhile the black stallion who took the 5 Year Old Championship title in 2010, Astrix, got the edge in the 6 Year Old Qualifier with a score of 9.16.  Ridden by 25 year old Emmelie Scholtens, the Dutch-bred son of The Obelisk/Olivi was awarded 9.2, 9.5 and 9.2 for his basic gaits and 9.2 for overall impression.  Another member of the Dutch contingent, Laurens van Lieren, steered Presidents Avanti, a stallion by United out of a Farrington dam, to a score of 8.8 for runner-up spot, just squeezing in ahead of the third-placed Westphalian gelding St Emilion by Sandro Hit which was nicely presented by Dorothee Schneider.  St Emilion earned the highest mark of the day for suppleness - 9 - and was only the tiniest fraction behind second-placed Presidents Avanti with an overall mark of 8.78.

In yesterday's Final, Astrix again had the winning score, but it was the Rhineland stallion Damon Jerome which finished second under Germany's Uta Graf while St Emilion was, once again, third.  Astrix dominated with scores of 9.6 for trot and 9.2 for walk.  Emmelie Scholtens was a bit breathless but very happy afterwards, and confessed to having hoped she would achieve the back-to-back double of 2010/2011 victories with this horse.  The scores were close however, with Astrix returning 8.70 and the silver medal winning stallion, Damon Jerome which is half-brother to the 6 Year Old silver medal winning horse Damon's Divene, notching up 8.68.

"He has three fantastic basic gaits and he is very easy to ride" Graf said of her silver medal winning ride.  "It is basically very simple - if you have a first-class horse, you can also shine as a rider" she added.  Third-placed Schneider earned 9.0 for submissiveness with St Emilion, the highest score of the day.  "He was a bit careful and shy today and impressed by the audience, but this is of course the same for all these young horses" Schneider pointed out.

On Saturday alone, a total of 20,000 spectators turned up to enjoy the Dressage and Jumping Festival in Verden which may move its date in 2012 in order to avoid a clash with the London Olympic Games.  Verden show director, Rainer Kiel, said that alternative date options for next year's edition of this hugely popular event will be considered over the coming months.      


5 Year Old Final: GOLD - Woodlander Farouche (Michael Eilberg) GBR 9.72%; SILVER - Damon's Divene (Helen Langehannenberg) GER 9.12%; BRONZE - Bretton Woods (Emmelie Scholtens) NED 8.88%.

6 Year Old Final: GOLD - Astrix (Emmelie Scholtens) 8.70%; SILVER - Damon Jerome H (Uta Graf) GER 8.68%; BRONZE - St Emilion (Dorothee Schneider) GER 8.42%.

For more details on the FEI World Championships for Young Dressage Horses 2011 go to www.verden-turnier.de