Friday, January 20, 2012

JUMPING: WEF: WELLINGTON: Keenan and Chapot Take The Top


Lillie Keenan Triumphs in USEF/Platinum Performance Show Jumping Talent Search    

Laura Chapot and Valentia Take Top Prize in World Development Group 1.35m Jumpers

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


Wellington, FL - January 20, 2012 - Forty-one of the nation's top young riders showed in the USEF/Platinum Performance Show Jumping Talent Search in Wellington this morning with a win for Lillie Keenan aboard Chansonette Farm LLC's Monterrey. Riders showed over a course set by Danny Moore, of Spring Hill, FL, and the top twelve were invited to return under saddle.

The second week of the FTI WEF runs through Sunday, January 22, and is sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty. The 2012 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition that conclude on April 1, 2012, and they will be awarding more than $6 million in prize money through the circuit. The highlight jumper class in week two is the $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix, CSI 2* on Saturday, January 21, at 7 p.m.

Following Keenan in the prizes, Kristen Lutz rode Roseberry, owned by Heritage Farm Inc., to second place. Schaefer Raposa and Heritage Farm's Zendor Z finished third. Catherine Tyree placed fourth aboard Missy Clark and North Run's Co Co Pop. Abby Bertelson and her own Eclypso finished fifth, and Alexandria Desiderio rounded out the top six aboard Heritage Farm's Gentle R.

Monterrey is an eleven-year-old KWPN gelding by Calvados. The gelding, previously named Uriam, was owned and ridden by Michael Murphy last year. He led Murphy to a second place finish in the 2011 USEF/Platinum Performance Show Jumping Talent Search Finals this fall and was named best horse of the competition. Keenan was very impressed with the horse and purchased him just two weeks ago. Her father came up with the name Monterrey, drawing from the gelding's Mexican origin. 

Lillie Keenan and Monterreyat the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com

 "I started with him last week and we were second in the Talent Search and won the Maclay, so the little that I have shown him has been very successful," Keenan stated. "He is a new ride for me, but he has been great. He is not fazed by anything; he doesn't care about the water. He is perfect; you can do him in the Maclay, you can do him in the Washington hunter phase, you can do him in the Talent Search. He is good about it all; he is brave and he is a lot of fun." 

Commenting on her round over fences today, Keenan acknowledged, "I thought it was good. There were places I could have ridden it a little bit better, but he did his job. I probably could have helped him a few places, like the water, but he was a good boy."

Keenan was one of the top riders in last year's USEF/Platinum Performance Show Jumping Talent Search Finals, but was disappointed not to make it into the final four. She hopes to return to the Finals this year with a more familiar horse.

Keenan explained, "Last year we took a chance with a horse that I did not know very well and the horse had not been to finals for two years, so stuff happens. I couldn't really control it, but at least I still have some more years. Hopefully I can go back. I am really lucky to have this horse and I think that he can definitely do it. Obviously he did really well last year with Michael, so I think he is a great horse for a class like that."

Week two of the 2012 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival will continue tomorrow with the conclusion of the Elite Equine Shavings Amateur-Owner Hunter Over 35 division in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring. For full results please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

Chapot Continues 1.35m Success with Valentia

Laura Chapot and Valentia, a 2002 KWPN mare by Calvino Z, were last year's FTI WEF Circuit Champions in the 1.35m division. They have continued their success this year and have already posted three wins in the division after today.
"She's had a great start to the circuit. I'm really happy. She's jumping great," Chapot said. "I'm so pleased that she's starting out so well after a long break and coming out of the cold north. To come down here and be really competitive in the first two weeks is very exciting."

Chapot said that Valentia is "a lot of fun in the ring." She explained, "She can be a little bit difficutl in the schooling area. She is nervous about other horses and gets a little jittery, but once you get her through the in-gate, she really focuses on her job. Once you get in the ring, she really likes to take charge and go fast."
Laura Chapot and Valentia at the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com



Laura Chapot and Valentia
Having come up through the ranks of the Young Jumper classes, Valentia has found her stride in the 1.35m division. "The 1.35m is a great base for her. If she doesn't move up here, there are a lot of places over the summer where she can make a stride forward," Chapot noted.

For today's class, Chapot liked the course that was set by Michel Ismalun. "I thought it was a good course. There were a couple options, (with) striding and with the turns. It allowed a lot of opportunity for people to do what they needed to do with their horse. They could make cuts to make the win," she remarked. "It wasn't a class where there were so many clear and you had to be absolutely perfect all the way around."

Although she didn't have to be perfect for the win, Chapot did feel that Valentia was near that standard in today's class. "It was one of the best rounds that horse has ever had. She really hit the mark on everything I asked her to do. Even though there weren't a lot clear, she was as good as she can go. It was a great feeling," she expressed.

For full results please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival will continue tomorrow with a full schedule of hunter and jumper competition. The highlight class of the week, the $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix, CSI 2*, will start at 7 p.m. Gates open at 6 p.m.

Final Results: $2,500 World Development Group 1.35m Jumpers

1 VALENTIA, LAURA CHAPOT, MARY CHAPOT: 0/62.738
2 GAMA CHAMACO, DARRAGH KENNY, KERRY ANNE LLC: 0/65.672
3 CAZINO, RODRIGO PESSOA, RODRIGO PESSOA/PAM BUIE: 0/65.760
4 LARIAT, JOE FARGIS, SANDRON: 0/69.150
5 VOLUMIA, CHRISTINA SERIO, DERBYDOWN INC: 0/71.080
6 DRAGONFLY, ALEXA LOWE-WISEMAN, ALEXA LOWE-WISEMAN: 0/74.566
7 RSVP, ILAN FERDER, EQUINE TRADING COMPANY: 2/79.261
8 VENUS, MARILYN LITTLE-MEREDITH, RAYLYN FARMS INC: 3/80.754
9 LIVERPOOL, JIMMY TORANO, TORANO & LAURENZO: 4/66.045
10 DACHA DE TOULON, FILIP DE WANDEL, SOPHIE LAFORCE: 4/67.562
11 VALENTINO, HARRISON SHURE, HARRISON SHURE: 4/70.588
12 PRINCE DU BONNEVILLE, VICTOR AMAYA, GOTHAM ENTERPRIZES: 4/72.999


Derby Cross Tonight!


 It's Derby Cross time again.  Our sponsor, FLAIR Equine Nasal Strips is sponsoring again!  Watch all the action live from Wellington tonight on USEF Network tonight at 7 p.m eastern!


For Immediate Release
January 11, 2012


FLAIR TO CONTINUE SPONSORSHIP OF THE WELLINGTON PRO DERBY CROSS IN 2012

Flair LLC, makers of FLAIR® Equine Nasal Strips, is pleased to announce its continuing sponsorship of the Wellington PRO Rider Derby Cross Competition.  This year’s competition is to be held on January 20, 2012 at 7pm at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington Florida, with The Calcutta Welcoming Party to be held at The Gallery on January 19, 2012 at 6:30pm – also in Wellington, Florida.

FLAIR Strips – which support and protect the respiratory system of the hard-working equine athlete -- will be provided to all competitors and the company will sponsor a cross-country fence during the Wellington competition.

PRO Derby Cross is a hybridized form of interactive entertainment and sporting competition designed to showcase some of the best equestrian talent in the United States and Canada.

PRO Derby Cross Teams are comprised of five horse and rider combinations drawn from the worlds of Eventing, Show Jumping, and Polo. Each team is captained by an internationally renowned Eventer and filled in with two more Eventers, one Show Jumper, and one Polo Player- each a world-class equestrian in his or her own right.

This year, six Derby Cross teams will compete individually over a three-minute course that will again be designed by Olympic Gold Medalist and Canadian Eventing Team Coach David O’Connor. The course will ask horses and riders to be brave over the cross-country fences and accurate over show jumps all while competing against the clock.

For more information about FLAIR Nasal Strips please visit http://www.flairstrips.com

For more information about PRO Derby Cross, please visit http://www.derbycross.com

For more information about Pro Riders visit http://www.professionalriders.org/



USET: Wellington: Six Live Auction Items to be Featured at USET Foundation's "An English Country Evening"


Wellington, FL - January 20, 2012 - On Friday, January 27, 2012, the United States Equestrian Team Foundation will be hosting a benefit event at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. "An English Country Evening" will feature honorary chairs NBC Today Show host Matt Lauer and his wife Annette, an avid equestrian. This year's celebratory evening will feature six unique and extraordinary live auction items for guests to bid on to help raise funds for the USET Foundation to further support the United States Equestrian Team riders as they prepare and compete at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.

The first of the six items will be a Custom Oil Portrait, donated by Sharon Lynn Campbell. The bidder can preserve the likeness of his or her favorite horse or pony forever in a beautiful life-sized oil portrait - created by renowned artist Sharon Lynn Campbell. The finished piece will be life-sized (head/neck), framed, and with a brass nameplate; and will be of the finest quality and workmanship.

The next live auction item will feature the opportunity to be a Character in New York Times Best Selling Author Tami Hoag's Next Novel which offers the chanceof a lifetime, to be immortalized in print. The lucky high bidder will become a character in her next suspense novel, Jane Doe 9, to be published in December, 2012. The winner will lend his or her name to a prominent secondary character in the story. He or she can choose to be described as his or herself, or take the opportunity to be more handsome than George Clooney or sexier than Angelina Jolie. In addition, the winner will be acknowledged in the front of the book with thanks for supporting the USET Foundation and our United States Olympic Team. At the time of publication of the novel, the winner will receive five signed copies of the book for friends and family.


Donated by R. Bruce Duchossois, the third item is a Trip for Two to the Kentucky Derby. Experience all the excitement of the 2012 Kentucky Derby in style. The winner and a guest will enjoy the festivities in grand style as they watch the Derby from the Sky Terrace Suite along Millionaire's Row at Churchill Downs. Enjoy a view of the finish line while taking advantage of a gourmet menu and full service bar. Accommodations include two nights at the exclusive and historic The Brown Hotel, the crown jewel of Louisville's luxury hotels.

During the live auction, guests will also have the opportunity to bid on an absolutely amazing Trip for Four on the Cat Cay Island in the Bahamas on a Privately Owned 80' Yacht, donated by David Topping. Enjoy four days on the luxurious, privately owned 80-foot yacht "Topps," which is docked at the ultra exclusive Cat Cay Island Yacht Club on the private island of Cat Cay in the Bahamas. Guests will have privileges at the "club" to enjoy golf, tennis, spa, beaches and restaurants while not off cruising the Atlantic Ocean and basking in the sun. This package is all inclusive of fuel, docking fees, meals prepared on the yacht and a crew that includes a captain and a chef/steward. Also included is "Top Hat," a speedboat for fishing, snorkeling and diving.

The final two items available during for live auction have been donated by JetSet Sports/CoSport, and are Olympic Packages for Two. The first package is for Eventing, and the highest bidder will win six fabulous days in London for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Guests will stay at the four star Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel, centrally located in London, with complimentary breakfast each day. The guests will also enjoy a pass to CoSport's exclusive hospitality center located in the heart of London for exquisite food, beverage and entertainment. The package includes tickets to the all the Eventing competitions, including the final day and medal ceremony. The second package is for the Dressage and Show Jumping enthusiasts and includes the same accommodations. Guests will have tickets to the Show Jumping Team Competition Rounds 1 & 2, as well as the Team & Individual Finals. They will also receive tickets to the Dressage Team and Individual Finals.

In addition to the Live Auction, the special evening will include the USET Foundations presentation of its most coveted awards, the prestigious Lionel Guerrand-Hermes Trophy and the Whitney Stone Cup as well recognizing Gold Medal Club members who have supported the USET Foundation for 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years.

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation ( www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America's elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.

For more information on the USET Foundation, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org.

PARA EQUESTRIAN: USPEA: nternational Para-Equestrian Competition Begins at Gold Coast Dressage Opener CPEDI3*

From Lindsay McCall for the USPEA

Wellington, FL -As the sun rose over the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL the Gold Coast Dressage Opener CPEDI3* commenced. Twenty-three para-equestrian dressage riders from seven countries vied for top scores under F.E.I. judges Carlos Lopes (POR), Hanneke Gerritsen (NED), and Marc Urban (BEL). For two weekends, beginning with the Gold Coast Dressage Opener CPEDI3* and ending with the Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge CPEDI3*, para-equestrian dressage riders have the opportunity to earn their qualifying scores and increase their international rankings before the 2012 London Paralympics. For each country the next two weekends will mark the closeout of the team rankings before London. Dueling for the top positions in Friday's Team Test were Canada and the United States. Competition will continue Saturday with the Individual Test, and end Sunday with the Freestyle competition followed by the awards ceremony.

The first of four para-equestrians representing the United States was rider Mary Jordan (Grade IV) of Wells, ME aboard Sebastian, para-equestrian Dale Dedrick (Grade II) from Ann Arbor, MI on Bonifatius, Rebecca Hart (Grade II) of Erie, PA aboard Lord Ludger and Jonathan Wentz (Grade Ib), NTEC Richter Scale from Richardson, TX led by Chef d'Equipe Missy Ransehousen.. The United States team set the pace with the first ride of the day from Mary Jordan beginning at 8:30 a.m. on her team horse Sebastian. She noted, "Sebastian went pretty well today. I had a morning ride at a beautiful facility, on a great horse. However, I am looking to produce even more out of him."

Mary Jordan (Grade IV U.S.A.) and Sebastian (Photo by Lindsay McCall)

Mary has kept a tight schedule since December when she headed to Melbourne, Australia. "I went from Australia, to having Christmas, and then shipped both horses, Sebastian and P. Sparrow Socks to Florida," commented Mary. "It definitely took a lot of work to get down here but it was worth it. There is no substitute for becoming seasoned, the more experience we get and the more competitive mileage we gain at this level will continue to help us grow as individuals and as a team."

Jonathan put forward two steady tests aboard team horse NTEC Richter Scale and Bavarian Warmblood NTEC Jabriel. "Our goal was to use Richter as the safe choice for the team and he played it safe and executed a nice test," noted Jonathan. "Even on a bad day Richter is still consistent."


Jonathan Wentz (Grade Ib U.S.A.) and NTEC Richter Scale (Photo by Lindsay McCall)

He continued, "I am looking forward to the rest of this weekend and especially next week's CPEDI3*. Saturday's individual test ramps up even more, the turns become tighter, and each test presents a new set of challenges. For me it's about keeping steady and working hard, and those goals come easy with my trainer Kai Handt, his assistant Coach Happy Comly, and of course owners Julia Handt and Rachel Zent."


Dale Dedrick (Grade II U.S.A.) and Bonifatius (Photo by Lindsay McCall)

For rider Dale Dedrick and Bonifatius a score of 69.318% would capture the top score for the United States. "It was one of those tests that was quite even," smiled Dale. "I like to ride a steady test on the first day because Erik is a horse than can get enthusiastic and sometimes he will volunteer a little more than necessary. Since we rode a test that was balanced and correct I now know he is listening. Saturday will be about going deep in the corners, making sure the transitions are correct, and perfecting the details. For the team I know we have a great group of people that top riders that will perform their best this weekend." 


Rebecca Hart (Grade II U.S.A.) and Lord Ludger (Photo by Lindsay McCall)

Rounding out the United States team was top rider Rebecca Hart aboard Lord Ludger. "I was quite happy with him," said Rebecca. "There was a lot of outside stimuli and he handled it beautifully. I enjoyed the team test competition today and I also enjoyed riding my relatively new mount Hugh Knows." Hugh Knows was a prior event horse owned by Jacqueline Mars. Rebecca is planning to continue to grow with both horses as they make their way to selection trials this summer.

Representing the Canadian team at the Gold Coast Dressage Opener CPEDI3* was Madison Lawson on McGuire (Grade IV), Lauren Barwick aboard Off To Paris (Grade II), Ashley Gowanlock and Ferdonia 2 (Grade Ib), and Jody Schloss on Inspector Rebus (Grade Ia).

With Canada and the United States dueling for the top placing, Chef d'Equipe of Canada, Elizabeth Quigg, was very happy with the team's results. She noted, "The team went as well as expected and we are hoping to maintain that through the next six months. We brought a lot of people down to Florida so they could get more experience with the two shows back to back. It is also a good opportunity to assess everybody from the winter but we have a long way to go till August."

Jody Schloss responded, "I am looking forward to the next week as well. We all ride really hard and I think our marks showed that."


James Dwyer (Grade IV Ireland) and Orlando (Photo by Lindsay McCall)

Excelling in Grade IV with a winning score of 68.75% James Dwyer of Ireland and his trusty gelding Orlando. James remarked, "I was overall pretty happy with my ride today. There are a few little things here and there that we need to work on but overall all he was really good and I couldn't have asked for more."

Like many of the para-equestrian dressage competitors James will stay through the two weeks of competition. After a short break he will head to Europe with Orlando where he will show in France, Belgium, and Germany in preparation for the 2012 Selection Trials. As the weekend continues riders from the United States, Canada, Ireland, Finland, Bermuda, Japan, and Mexico will compete in Saturday's Individual competition followed by Sunday's Freestyle and awards ceremony.

Results: Placing, Name, Name of Horse, Total Score
Grade 1a
1. Jody Schloss, Inspector Rebus, 67.157
2. Lorrietta Oakleaf, Niekele fon Busenitz, 63.529
3. Robyn Andrews, Fancianna, 62.745
4. Kim Decker, Dasher's Destiny, 62.157
5. Alexander Mitchell, Guiness Maskell, 61.863
6. Robyn Andrews, Ravallo Son, 61.471
7. NTEC Manchada, Mina Chinju 56.275

Grade 1b
1. Ashley Gownlock, Fredonia 2, 70.985
2. Jonathan Wentz, NTEC Jabriel, 69.381
3. Jonathan Wentz, NTEC Richter Scale, 66.212
4. Jaana Kivimaki, Sarona, 63.636
5. Katja Karjalainen, Hidden Creek Jones, 63.409

Grade II
1. Lauren Barwick, Off to Paris, 71.667
2. Dale Dedrick, Bonifatius, 69.318
3. Rebecca Hart, Lord Ludger, 69.048
4. Rebecca Hart, Hugh Knows, 65.714
5. Fernanda Otheguy, Sarona, 64.921
6. Elizabeth Pigott, Whitney's Willow, 63.651
7. Margret McIntosh, Idalgo, 61.905
8. Charlotte Bathon, Sportsfield Twist, 57.460

Grade III
1. Eleanor Brimmer, Carino H, 57.531

Grade IV
1. James Dwyer, Orlando, 68.750
2. Lynne Pool, Vasco E, 64.427
3. Lynee Pool, Fisbee, 63.958
4. Madison Lawson, McGuire, 63.958
5. Mary Jordan, Sebastian, 63.333
6. Mary Jordan, P Sparrow Socks, 62.135

For more information about the Gold Coast Dressage Opener please visit www.gcdafl.org
or contact Noreen O'Sullivan (561) 714-9026.

DRESSAGE: USEF: Dressage Young Horse Training and Observation Sessions Announced for 2012



From the USEF Communications Department

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the dates and locations of two Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Training Sessions for 2012. The open training sessions will be a unique opportunity for up and coming talent to have one-on-one sessions with USEF Young Horse Coach, Scott Hassler. The two-day event will include a 45-minute lesson each day with Scott Hassler as well as an evening lecture and discussion for the riders led by Scott. He explains, "I'm really excited about the decision to schedule the open Young Horse Training sessions. They will provide an opportunity for people to better understand the Markel/USEF Young Horse program as well as the correct development required for young horses to advance in the training scale towards the FEI levels."

The first Young Horse Training Session will be held February 18-19 at Shannondale Farm in Milton, Georgia. Applications for this training session are due January 31st. Another Training Session will be held April 14-15 at Twinwood Equestrian Center in Simontown, Texas. Applications for this training session are due March 30th.

Applications, fees and further information about these training sessions can be obtained by contacting USEF Director of Dressage National Programs, Hallye Griffin (hgriffin@usef.org). Dates and locations for Central and New England area training sessions will be announced at a later time.  

In addition to the training sessions, there will be Young Horse Dressage Observation Sessions at two events in 2012. These sessions are simply "observations" that will take place at the competition and will allow USEF Young Horse Coach, Scott Hassler to observe and scout for talented Young Horses. There will not be a fee for the Observation Sessions. The first Observation Session will take place at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby on March 3-4th in West Palm Beach, Florida. Another Observation Session will take place March 27-28th at the Festival of the Horse in San Juan Capistraño, California.  If you are interested in taking part in the Young Horse Observation Sessions, please contact Hallye Griffin (hgriffin@usef.org).


Please remember that Applications of Intent for the 2012 Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Championships and the 2012 Developing Horse Dressage Championships (presented by the Dutta Corp and PSI) are due April 30th and can be found under Dressage Championship Applications when you log into your USEF account: 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dressage: FEI: SANNA BOOKS HER TICKET TO DEN BOSCH WHILE LOIKA LEADS CENTRAL EUROPEAN SERIES - by Louise Parkes

Australia's Rachael Sanna has earned a place at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final in 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands in April following her victory, riding Jaybee Alabaster, at the Asia/Pacific FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final in Werribee, Australia last month.  Photo: Derek O'Leary.

FEI WORLD CUP™ DRESSAGE - ASIA/PACIFIC AND CENTRAL EUROPEAN LEAGUE UPDATES

Lausanne (SUI), 19 January 2012


Australia's Rachael Sanna earned a place at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2011/2012 Final at 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands next April with a convincing victory in the Asia/Pacific FEI World Cup™ Dressage League which concluded at Werribee, Australia last month.  The series embraced six rounds of competition, all on Australian soil, and kicked off at Boneo in March 2011 before moving on to Werribee and Melbourne.

Sydney hosted two legs before the Final returned to the National Equestrian Centre at Werribee, Victoria in December.   A strong favourite from the outset, the Australian National Champion, Sanna, dominated throughout. 

The 39 year old Sydney native steered Jaybee Alabaster to win the opening Grand Prix with a score of 71.128% and, the following day, Ground Jury judges Mary Seefried (AUS), Helen Hughes-Keen (NZL), Katrina Wuest (GER), Susan Hoevenaars (AUS) and Alison Pauline King (HKG) awarded the winning mark of 75.125% in the Grand Prix Freestyle which was the FEI World Cup™ qualifying class.  The pair subsequently also went on to top the Grand Prix Special with a score of 71.000% to underpin a superb weekend.


LONE VISITOR

Runner-up at the Werribee Final was fellow-Australian Heath Ryan riding Regardez Moi while the lone visitor from New Zealand, Louisa Hill who competed at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, steered Bates Antonello into third.  A total of nine riders competed at the Asia-Pacific Final.

Sanna, currently 80th in the FEI World Rankings, plans to bring Jaybee Alabaster to Europe soon to prepare for both the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Final and the 2012 Olympic Games.  The horse's proud owner and breeder, Beverley Edwards, is looking forward to attending the closing stages of another FEI World Cup™ event.  She previously had the pleasure of watching her stallion, Vivant, finish seventh at the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Geneva two years ago, with Chris Chugg on board.


CENTRAL EUROPEAN SERIES


Meanwhile in Central Europe, competitors are still battling it out for a starting spot at 's-Hertogenbosch.  Sviatlana Loika from Belarus won the league series which attracted 36 competitors from seven countries - Belarus, Poland, Russia, Hungary, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Turkey.  The qualifying rounds visited Lipica (SLO), Nizhniy Novgorod (RUS), Brno (CZE), Moscow (RUS), Wroclaw (POL), Minsk (BLR), Kaposvar (HUN) and Zhashkiv (UKR), and the series Final will take place in Warsaw, Poland on 22-23 March.
Points from the Western European League legs are also included in calculating the standings in this regional contest, but only two riders from the Central European series competed at these events. Poland's Katarzyna Milczarek lined out at Odense (DEN) last October, but failed to add to her scoreline and finished fifth on the league table, while the Ukraine's Inna Logutenkova collected four points at the Belgian fixture in Mechelen just after Christmas to slot into equal-11th position.


SUCCESSFUL YEAR

Loika, who holds 122nd place in the current FEI World Rankings list, has enjoyed a successful year.  With her top ride, Gulbis, the 30 year old won the Grand Prix Special at Zhashkiv in the Ukraine last April and then earned her first FEI World Cup™ Dressage qualifying points of the 2011/2012 season with a good result at Nizhniy Novgorod in Russia in June. She followed that with another strong outing in Moscow in early September before registering a double-victory in both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle on her home turf at Minsk later that month.

She topped the Central European League leaderboard with a total of 48 points which gave her a three-point advantage over runner-up Michal Rapcewicz from Poland who, at 29 years of age, is already an Olympic and FEI World Equestrian Games™ veteran.  Russia's Anna Pyrkina finished third ahead of Hungary's Robert Acs in fourth, but at the Final all competitors start on level-pegging once again so the result at Warsaw will be critical.

Meanwhile the Western European League of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2011/2012 series resumes this Saturday in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where the star-studded line-up includes defending champion Adelinde Cornelissen and her Dutch colleagues Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud.  With just three qualifiers let to go, Sweden's Patrik Kittel continues to head the standings ahead of Minderhoud in second and Italy's Valentina Truppa in third.

  


USEF: Phillips and Ransehousen Named 2011 USEF Coaches of the Year

From the USEF Communications Department

Lexington, KY - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has nominated Capt. Mark Phillips and Missy Ransehousen for top coaching honors with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).  With this nomination, they have been named USEF Coach and Para-Equestrian Coach of the Year.

Capt. Phillips has had a long tenure of medal winning service to the USEF. Beginning in 1993 - he has brought medals home from every championship he has coached, except for one. In 2011 his team made history.  They won Pan American Team Gold with all five athletes finishing on their dressage scores. This is the first time in history this ever happened. The U.S. Team also won Individual Silver and Bronze. Even more impressively, this was a relatively inexperienced team, only one rider had represented their country previously.  He has worked tirelessly on the developing rider program the results of which are now being utilized. He serves on four USEF Committees and is a top international course designer and technical delegate. His impact on the sport, both in 2011 and throughout his career has been profound and garnered him the Nomination of USEF Coach of the Year.

Missy Ransehousen has had a banner year with the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team, coaching two winning teams at the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Para-Equestrian CPEDI 3* in Saugerties, NY and at the Saddlewood Festival of Dressage CPEDI 3* in Werribee, AUS.  Ransehousen also coached Rebecca Hart to a Reserve Championship Individual honors at the USEF Para-Equestrian CPEDI3* and then on to a double win at the Saddlewood CPEDI3*. The Australian success was even more impressive because it was achieved entirely on borrowed horses.  Ransehousen has coached four-time National Para-Equestrian Champion and Paralympian Rebecca Hart to all of her championship titles. Ransehousen's commitment to the sport is tireless, her efforts since 2000 have grown the sport considerably and she works as an advocate and fundraiser for the program as much as she works helping her riders succeed.

"Captain Phillips and Missy Ransehousen are extraordinary coaches," said James Wolf, USEF Executive Director, Sport Programs. "Both of these individual have dedicated their lives to the training of horses and riders.  Their dedication, determination, integrity and work ethic make them both strong candidates for USOC Coach of the Year Honors."

Both Phillips and Ransehousen will be considered by the USOC for the National and Paralympic Coach of the Year Award that will be announced in late spring/early summer 2012.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dressage: USEF: Steffen Peters Named 2011 USEF Equestrian of the Year

Steffen Peters, 2011 Equestrian of the Year, at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

From the USEF Communications Department

Cincinnati, OH - To cap off a record-setting year, dressage superstar Steffen Peters added one more record to his résumé on Saturday night at the United States Equestrian Federation's Pegasus Awards dinner. He became the first person to score the USEF's Equestrian of the Year title three times.

Peters (San Diego, CA) won the top honor in 2008 and 2009 based largely on his accomplishments with Akiko Yamazaki's phenom Ravel - but in 2011, Ravel had some help. Peters capitalized on his first trip to the Pan American Games and scored Team and Individual Gold in a tremendous effort with Jen and Bruce Hlavacek's Weltino's Magic. From California to Aachen, Germany Peters was undefeated in 2011 with the now 9-year-old Westphalian gelding.

Both Ravel and 'Magic' scored at the 2011 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Dressage Championships in Gladstone, NJ in September sweeping the Grand Prix and Intermediaire I divisions respectively. Peters won all six classes in the effort and secured his Pan Am spot with Magic in the process.

The trip to Mexico proved worth the miles as Peters and Magic dominated at the Guadalajara Country Club. The competition was hard fought for Individual honors but Peters led an American sweep. Heather Blitz and Paragon won Silver while Marisa Festerling and Big Tyme secured Bronze. Peters also won the William C. Steinkraus Trophy , awarded to an equestrian in an Olympic discipline, for the third time. As a result, he was one of six equestrians in the running for the USEF's top honor.

Listen to a portion of Steffen Peters acceptance: Steffen Peters Accepts 2011 Equestrian of the Year Award

The following awards were presented on January 14, 2012, at the Cincinnati Netherland Plaza:

The Becky Grand Hart Trophy was presented to Four-In-Hand Driver Chester Weber. The Becky Grand Hart Trophy is presented to international-level non-Olympic athletes. Weber had a banner year with his team, winning four CDEs in the in the United States. He took his team to Europe and won at CAIO Veces, CAI Altenfelden and CAIO Riesenbeck. He was the Reserve USEF National Four-in-Hand Driving Champion. Chester also spent a significant amount of time serving as a chef d'equipe. He commandeered a Bronze-medal winning performance at the 2011 FEI World Pony Team Championships and a 10th-place U.S. Team finish at the FEI World Pair Championship.

Karen Waldron (Shawsville, VA) was awarded the Bill Robinson Trophy for her diversity of success with Saddlebreds, Hackneys and Friesians. The Bill Robinson Trophy is presented to an equestrian competing with horses or ponies across all the breeds in harness or for driving performance in non-international competitions. She won World Championships in two breeds - including titles in the Amateur Ladies Harness and Hackney Pony World Championships at the prestigious Kentucky State Fair's World's Championship Horse Show. She also scored with World and Grand National Championships in several divisions at the 2011 IFSHA Friesian World and Grand National Championships.

Scott Stewart (Flemington, NJ) picked up his fourth Emerson Burr Trophy for his success in the Hunter Ring. The Emerson Burr Trophy is presented to a rider in the hunter divisions in any breed over fences. He won Leading Hunter Rider titles at the Devon Horse Show and Alltech National Horse Show in 2011 and other top honors across the country. He consistently produces and trains the best horses in the country and is renowned for recognizing quality within his discipline.

For the first time, Debbie Foley's name will be added to the list of equestrians to win the C.J. "June" Cronan Trophy. The C.J. "June" Cronan Trophy is presented to those excelling in under saddle show breeds. Foley's name has been synonymous with the breed she loves for more than 30 years. Foley (Louisville, KY) trained and showed Callaway's Annabel Allison to the Five-Gaited Mare World Champion title. Under Foley's expertise, Callaway's The Best and Brightest earned the Ladies Five-Gaited Mare World Championship and Just Plain George won the World's Championship Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding class - all in 2011.

The Barbara Worth Oakford Trophy was awarded to Janice Giles (Pleasureville, KY). This trophy is presented to an equestrian showing in a non-reining Western discipline. She made huge strides for the Friesian breed in 2011 with Friesian Victor FC. He was crowned the International Friesian Show Horse Association (IFSHA) National Champion Western Pleasure Open, National Champion Junior Western Pleasure, and World Champion Open Western Pleasure.

Steven Stiller (Elkhorn, WI) won the Norman K. Dunn Trophy, presented to an equestrian competing at halter or in-hand. A consistent showman, his results from the 2011 IFSHA World and Grand National Championship were record-setting. Over just two days he won five World Champion, two National Champion, six Reserve World Champion, two Reserve National Champion, and 10 Top Five Champion titles.

The Vaughn Smith Trophy was awarded to Danielle Barrasso (Chicopee, MA) for her success with Arabians and Friesians in 2011. The Vaughan Smith Trophy is presented to the best rider of any horse or pony breed shown in hunter pleasure, show hack, hunter hack, dressage hack, costume, side saddle, or Western dressage. Barrasso won impressively with Klaas fan Synadea, Steffen S, Renaissance and Hilbrand fan Fjildisah in 2011. She scored eight World Championship titles and a National championship.

It was a banner year for these eight equestrians across the USEF breeds and disciplines. The USEF membership, board of directors and designated equestrian media voted to decide the winner.

James C. Wofford (Upperville, VA) collected Lifetime Achievement accolades in front of legions of his fans. A lifelong servant and student of the sport he was a multiple medal-winning eventing rider, coach, trainer, author, AHSA president, administrator, broadcaster...and legend.

Learn more about Wofford by watching this video about his life: 2011 USEF Lifetime Achievement Award Video Remembrance


Jacob Arnold (Snow Camp, NC) picked up his laurels for Junior Equestrian of the Year. One of the few young drivers in his sport, he has caught the attention of many in his discipline for his ability and poise. 

Learn more about Jacob by watching this video: 2011 Junior Equestrian of the Year

Read more about Wofford and Arnold here: 

The USEF Youth Sportsman's Award was presented to Morgan enthusiast and competitor Sascha Mills for her style and contributions both in and out of the competition arena. She was nominated by the American Morgan Horse Association. 

More information about Mills is available here: 

Raymond Francis, Nancy Nathanson and Marvin McCabe received Pegasus Medals of Honor.

The McDevitt Award of Merit is awarded posthumously to people who have passed away during the preceding competition year. In 2011 Johann Senn, Cornelia Serpell and Art Gayan were honored.

Sportsmanship Award and Walter B Devereux Trophy was given to Georgine Winslett in 2011.

The Sallie Busch Wheeler Trophy is given, at the discretion of USEF President David O'Connor, to honor distinguished service in equestrian sport. The winner of this award is known only to the president until it is presented and in 2011, O'Connor chose Howard Simpson.

USEF Equus Foundation Humanitarian Award was awarded to Molly Sweeney

Read more about her life and volunteer work here:

Charles Dennehy, Elizabeth Searle and Edward Teater were added to Honor Roll of Distinguished Officials for their service to equestrian competition.

Marty Simensen Memorial Trophy was awarded to Morgan Silver for her work with the Florida Horse Protection Association.

Joan Hamilton, an acclaimed Saddlebred breeder at Kalarama Farm, was honored with the Ellen Scripps Davis Memorial Trophy.

Maggy Price Endurance Excellence Award was bestowed to Dr. Margaret "Meg" Sleeper for topping the USEF Endurance Rider Ranking List in 2011.

The reception before the Pegasus Dinner was made possible by Publishers Press, and the Pegasus Dinner was sponsored by the USA Equestrian Trust. Makes sure to check out all of the Annual Meeting Sponsors here:

On demand video from the Pegsus awards will be available here:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

REINING: ARIAT KENTUCKY REINING CUP RETURNS


Don't miss the excitement - Reining returns!
The Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup returns to the Kentucky Horse Park in April 2012 after its fantastic debut during the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event last year!

Action begins on Friday night with the only CRI3* in the world, riders will guide their horses through prescribed turns, sliding stops and flying lead changes in pursuit of $100,000 prize money. On Saturday evening, riders will dazzle you with the crowd favorite, Reining World Freestyle Championship, as they compete for $25,000 in prize money.

Last year spectators cheered for Eventing favorites David O’Connor, Gina Miles, Karen O’Connor as they joined Reining veterans, Shawn Farida and Tom McCutcheon. You never know who will try their hand at Reining...Don't miss your chance to be a part of this electrifying event, reserve your seats today!









WEF: Wellington: Allyson Blais and Camden Yards Top Horseware Products Adult Amateur 3'3" Hunters at the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

Allyson Blais and Camden Yards Top Horseware Products Adult Amateur 3'3" Hunters at the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival 

Ward Scores Again in Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Jumpers with Espalanade 7

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

Wellington, FL - January 13, 2012 - Week one of the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) continued at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, today with more exceptional hunter competition. Showing in the Eugene R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring, the Horseware Products Adult Amateur Hunter 3'3" division presented championship honors. Twenty-three-year-old Allyson Blais, of Delray Beach, FL, guided her nine-year-old Warmblood gelding Camden Yards to the championship tricolor with 38 totals points to top the division. Horseware Products is the Official Horse Blanket/Clothing of the FTI WEF.

The first week of the FTI WEF runs through Sunday, January 15, and is sponsored by Surpass. The 2012 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition that conclude on April 1, 2012, and they will be awarding more than $6 million in prize money through the circuit. The highlight jumper class in week one is the $30,000 Surpass Grand Prix on Saturday, January 14, at 7 p.m.

Blais and Camden Yards won both classes over fences on Thursday and returned to place first and third over fences and third under saddle today. The reserve championship was awarded to Margaret O'Meara and Coin Toss, owned by Woodland Way, Inc. The pair placed second, fifth, second and fourth over fences and also finished second under saddle for a total of 21 points.
Allyson Blais and Camden Yards

Blais rides in Wellington year-round and trains with Alan Korotkin at Castlewood Farm. She has owned Camden Yards for about two years. "He has been awesome," she smiled. "He is not the easiest horse to ride. He can be a little quirky sometimes, but he tries so hard and he jumps unreal."

The rider joked that she calls Camden Yards 'Beavis' or 'Butthead' in the barn, depending on his mood that day. "He has a lot of personality; he is really funny," she said. "He comes out and it has to be his way, but he is a really good boy."  

Watch Allyson and Camden Yards in a winning round!
Videos by Shownet - View 2012 FTI WEF Videos at www.shownet.biz

Blais explained that she usually shows Camden Yards in the Amateur-Owner Hunters, but just started a new job and has not had a lot of time to ride. "This division just happened to work in with my schedule," she stated. "Yesterday I showed and then went right to work."

When Blais is too busy to show, rider Shawn Casady steps in to compete Camden Yards in the Junior Hunters. The gelding is for sale, so Blais hopes to keep him showing throughout circuit to focus on finding him a great new owner.

Even though Blais shows in Wellington all year, she admits that it is very different showing at the PBIEC once the FTI WEF circuit begins. "Sometimes I get a little nervous. I call it 'WEFitis,' but I think that since I show here all the time it calms my nerves a little bit. It is so exciting to see everything finished and to have all of the rings going and all of the people here. I have to step up my game once everyone else gets here. No more slacking and no more chipping," she laughed.

Hunter competition at the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival will continue on Saturday when the Marley Goodman Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division will conclude its classes and present championship honors for week one. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com

Ward Wins Again, Dobbs Returns to the Winner's Circle

 McLain Ward (USA) made it two wins in a row today, this time with Louisburg Farm's Esplanade 7 in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Jumpers. He guided Esplanade 7 to victory in a jump-off time of 38.883 seconds over 60 other entries in the class. Second place went to Darragh Kenny (IRL) on Obelix, owned by Missy Clark and North Run, who finished in 40.464 seconds. Hillary Dobbs (USA) and The Dobbs Group's Udento VDL were third in 40.516 seconds. 


You can see McLain and Esplanade's winning jump-off ride here! Videos by Shownet - View 2012 FTI WEF Videos at www.shownet.biz

"I was thrilled with her. She's coming back off an injury and she was out for a year," Ward said. "They (Louisburg Farm) did a beautiful job rehabbing her. We cruised around on Wednesday and today opened her up a little bit. She's a very fast horse, it's not like you really have to put the pedal to the metal, and she's experienced. But she felt really good. It's nice to start her circuit off with a win, and we hope she can win a lot of other classes this year."

Although they went early in the class, Ward felt confident going into the immediate jump-off. "I know her well and where she can make up time. She can turn quite tight. She's just a very efficient horse. I didn't feel like I had to press her hard anywhere. It was just kind of neat. You know what to expect with her," he said.   

McLain Ward and Esplanade 7

Hillary Dobbs has returned to her winning ways as she and Marengo, owned by The Dobbs Group, took the top prize in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge. Dobbs and the well-known speedster Marengo took the win in 60.343 seconds over Nicolas Paillot and Olympic de Chamant, who finished in 62.428 seconds. Luis Larrazabal (VEN) and G&C Lepanto were third.

Earlier in the day, the $1,500 Griffis Group High Junior Jumper class was held. Sydney Shulman and Fit 3 took first place. In the $2,500 High Amateur-Owner Jumpers, Samantha Senft and Early Morning finished in the top spot. The winner of the $1,500 Adequan 7 Year Old Young Jumper qualifier was Ammy V, ridden by Marilyn Little-Meredith. Laura Chapot and Zealous won the $1,500 Adequan 8 Year Old Young Jumper qualifier.

The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival will continue tomorrow with a full schedule of hunter and jumper competition. The highlight class of the week, the $30,000 Surpass Grand Prix, will start at 7 p.m.

 Final Results: $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Time First Jump-off  
1 ESPLANADE 7, MCLAIN WARD: 0/0/38.883
2 OBELIX, DARRAGH KENNY: 0/0/40.464
3 UDENTO VDL, HILLARY DOBBS: 0/0/40.516
4 UMBERTO, LAURA CHAPOT: 0/0/40.568
5 SIRI, SHANE SWEETNAM: 0/0/42.062
6 SYRAH, MOLLY ASHE-CAWLEY: 0/0/42.154
7 FERRERO K, AMY MILLAR: 0/0/42.380
8 WANNAHAVE, DARRAGH KENNY: 0/0/42.506
9 ALLIGATOR ALLEY, CIAN O'CONNOR: 0/0/43.730
10 LANSDOWNE, YANN CANDELE: 0/0/45.407
11 URICO, MARIO DESLAURIERS: 0/0/46.927
12 COSTA RICA Z, AMY MILLAR: 0/4/40.178

 Final Results: $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge  
1 MARENGO, HILLARY DOBBS: 0/60.343
2 OLYMPIC DE CHAMANT, NICOLAS PAILLOT: 0/62.428
3 G & C LEPANTO, LUIS LARRAZABAL: 0/63.594
4 QUARTERLETTO, DARRAGH KENNY: 0/67.808
5 QUINLAN, SCHUYLER RILEY: 0/69.292
6 DANCER, LAUREN CROOKS: 0/72.693
7 OCEANE DE NANTUEL, MARIE HECART: 2/78.194
8 BRADBERRY, LAURA CHAPOT: 4/61.869
9 TORNADO, ANDREW WELLES: 4/70.786
10 S & L WHAT NOU, DARRAGH KERINS: 4/74.493
11 WAUW, JUAN ORTIZ: 4/74.818
12 PLAY ON, VICTORIA BIRDSALL: 4/75.398

 For full results please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

Photo Credit: Alyson Blais and Camden Yards, McLain Ward and Esplanade 7 at the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com. This photo may be used only in relation to this press release.