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,

 "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

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,

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

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


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 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

For more information about PRO Derby Cross, please visit

For more information about Pro Riders visit

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 ( 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

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
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 ( 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 (

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: