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Archive for August, 2014

No Rest for the Weary in Normandy: Athletes Use Day Off to Gear Up for Competition

August 26, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

A crew member for the US Endurance Team tends to My Wild Irish Gold, owned by Team veteran Valerie Kanavy and ridden by Kelsey Russell.

US Endurance Team rider Kelsey Russell (in helmet) is all smiles as she and My Wild Irish Gold, owned by Valerie Kanavy, gear up for Thursday’s race.

By Darlene Ricker

Photos by Diana De Rosa, unless otherwise noted

In the old days, tradition held that Sunday was a day of rest, and that’s exactly what the organizers of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy had in mind when they created the schedule of events. For all disciplines at these Games, Sunday the 24th was designated an official “Rest Day” so that the athletes could take a deep breath before the competition began on Monday.

However, the word “rest” is not currently in the vocabulary of most of these competitors. After all, it’s hard to kick back when you’ve been on a treadmill the past year or more, revving up to hit your peak (and, more importantly, your horse’s peak) in Normandy.

For example, members of the U.S. Endurance Team spent Sunday the same way they spent the previous days: preparing for Thursday’s 100-mile race. They got up well before the daily meeting that takes place first thing in the morning with chef d’equipe Emmett Ross, the team vet and any other members of the group who may be needed. The meeting starts promptly at 8 a.m. “Not 8:01, not 8:05,” as Emmett told me. “Eight o’clock sharp.”

US Endurance Team crew members practice handing off jugs of water as riders keep their pace. This is done throughout the race to keep the horses cool. It's a lot harder than it looks!

US Endurance Team crew members practice handing off jugs of water as riders keep their pace. This is done throughout the race to keep the horses cool. It’s a lot harder than it looks!

This Sunday morning, the riders had had only a few hours of sleep. The previous evening they had marched in the Parade of Athletes in the Opening Ceremony at D’Ornano Stadium in Caen, a four-hour roundtrip bus ride from their base near Sartilly (where the endurance race will be held) on the English Channel. It was close to midnight when the ceremony ended, so they didn’t get to sleep until about 2:30 a.m.

You certainly couldn’t tell by their appearance, though. When I arrived Sunday morning at their stabling area about six miles from Sartilly, the team members and their handlers looked far more awake than I’m sure I did. After they brought their horses in from pasture and attended the morning meeting, they tacked their meticulously groomed mounts and made themselves available for the next couple hours for a private photo shoot. I’m sure they had plenty of other things that needed to be done, but they and Emmett were extremely gracious and patient. After the official team photos were taken, they gave us another “photo op,” this time at an exercise track a short walk from the stabling area.

The riders mounted up and hacked around the sand track, first warming up at the walk and trot. Then they eased into a canter. As each approached, maintaining the pace, members of the crew came dashing up from the sides of the track, carrying plastic jugs of water. As you can see in the photos that accompany this story, they ran up to the horses and handed off (more like tossed) the containers to the riders, who (if the handoff was successful) dumped the water on their horses’ necks to cool them down.

Jeremy Reynolds and Heather Reynolds of Dunellon, Florida. Heather just won the prestigious Tevis Cup in California.

Jeremy Reynolds and Heather Reynolds of Dunellon, Florida. Heather just won the prestigious Tevis Cup in California. Photo by Darlene Ricker.

And this was a day of rest?

Well, eventually, yes (sort of). Emmett gave the riders the remainder of the day to do whatever they wanted, which for most of them meant chatting with teammates and crew and tending to their horses. The horses are never left unattended, whether in their stalls or in pasture. At least one team rider or crew member keeps constant watch, taking turns with others. That was my parting vision of the US Endurance Team on Sunday. As my photography partner, Diana de Rosa, and I headed off to the train station to go back to Caen, the minder who had been sitting in a lawn chair for several hours, staring at the horses in the pasture, was still doing so. But now it had begun to rain, so he had moved his perch to the front seat of a car, maintaining his lonely but ever-important vigil. As one of the team riders had said to me earlier that day: “The horse first.” Always.

Chef d'equipe Emmett Ross keeps a close eye during Sunday's practice session. His mission is to "keep everyone relaxed and ready" for Thursday's Endurance race.

Chef d’equipe Emmett Ross keeps a close eye during Sunday’s practice session. His mission is to “keep everyone relaxed and ready” for Thursday’s Endurance race.

The Colorado Horse Park CCI ** / CCI*, Training and Novice 3-Day, National Horse Trials and Area IX Championships Come to a Close

August 26, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Parker, Colo. – August 24, 2014 – The Colorado Horse Park CCI ** / CCI*, Training and Novice 3-Day, National Horse Trials and Area IX Championships came to a conclusion to day with show jumping in the derby field. Tiffany Cooke, Stuart Black, James Atkinson and Bonner Carpenter all had exceptionally smooth and clear rounds to win their divisions.
With a horse named Patent Pending, it is only fitting that Cooke is a patent attorney and litigator. The talented pair made the CCI** look effortless in all three phases. Patent Pending is a tall and solid Thoroughbred who takes his job seriously. The pair won with their dressage score of 52.80 and Cooke wore a smile throughout the competition.

 “Show jumping is our strongest phase so I was hoping as long as I didn’t do anything to mess it up we go through and have a nice clear round,” said Cooke. “We are headed to AECs. Dallas is our home so it is a quick short trip down to AECs and I’m riding in the Intermediate there. It was a great weekend and we were happy to have all the support at a great venue.”

 Thirteen talented horses and riders made up a very strong and competitive CCI*. Cliver and My Mitch were leading the field after a fantastic cross-country effort and maintained their score of 45.9. Cliver admitted that show jumping was not their strongest phase but had a smooth and well executed round until the second to the last fence, a triple bar, where they had a rail.

“I just buried him to the triple bar,” said Cliver. Even so, she was happy with the round and the result. “It was really one of our best rounds to date. I am super happy with the weekend.”

Stuart Black, a top international eventing rider and trainer from Weatherford, Texas and Tre Du Kernat, a chestnut Selle Francais gelding owned by Orin Book, were in second place going into show jumping. The pair performed a flawless, clear round and moved into the lead to take the division.

“TK is a fancy boy now but he was just doing jumpers,” Said Black. “He’s grown up and muscled up in the short time we’ve had him. He always struck me as an upper level horse. He’s got the mind for it. He’s got the gallop. He’s got the movement for the dressage.”

 Black prefers French horses. He said that some horses that aren’t from North America, find it so different here that it takes them a while to become acclimated. But with the French horses, the weather and the terrain are similar to France. They get off the plane and are ready go to work.

“We wanted to find out what kind of horse he is,” Black said. “We’ve kind of pushed him a bit. He’s done one training, three prelims and two intermediates and I took him to the CCI* because he has to qualify to go to the next level. I’ve also pushed him quite hard with the dressage. I am happy how he’s handled it all. He’s placed well in all the events but he hadn’t won anything. So, to come here and do a very good dressage test to be super, good and fast cross country and then to come out and show jump well – I’m just thrilled that he’s come out and been a winner.”

 Black came in second place with Silent Glider and won the Training Horse division with Last Dance, maintaining an incredible dressage score of 29.6 and was second in that division with Severe Flying.

“I haven’t been to Colorado in over 15 years,” Black said. “I really do like the venue, they do work hard at keeping the footing right. The horses go really well here and it is a nice event, it very professional yet it is really enjoyable, too. The one star division was packed with a lot of lovely horses. They do everything they can to make it the best.”
 Due to timing scores on roads and tracks and the steeplechase phases of the Training and Novice 3-Day divisions on cross-country day, the two leaders of those divisions were Angelika Beutel and Varekai for Training 3-Day and Sarah Richards and Storm of the Century in the Novice 3-Day.

Going into show jumping in the Training 3-Day Angelika Beutel form Longmont, Colorado and her Swedish Warmblood Varekai were leading with a score of 34.70. Their fault-free round clinched the win of the division.

“I only got him last year in August and I had a really good season last year,” said Beutel. “I moved him up to prelim this spring and promptly broke my arm. We’ve only been back for a couple of shows and he’s done well so we’re going to Texas to AECs in a couple of weeks and then we’ll see. He’ll probably have a month off after that and see if we can move back up to prelim next spring.

“It was the first time I had done the 3-Day,” she continued. “I loved that we got to school the roads and tracks and steeplechase. They have very nice organizers here. Everyone is professional. It is our favorite horse show. It is a beautiful venue.”

Sarah Richards from Peyton, Colorado and her Storm of the Century were leading the Novice 3-Day division going into show jumping. The pair had two rails making their score 42.3. In the division, only two horse and rider combinations left all the rails intact, Janet Taylor from Fort Worth, Texas and her own Zarpazo earned the blue ribbon with a score of 37 and Amy Dalrymple from Eagle, Colorado and Tritons Echo were second with a 37.60.

“I have shirts that say USCTA- I’ve been around,” joked Taylor. “Zar’s 13. I bought him as an unbroken 4-year-old. I sent him to a guy who trains race horses- he teaches them to go. He’s a good old boy. He takes care of me. I have polymyalgia rheumatica and fibromyalgia so I needed a horse that can figure it out and get me out of trouble and that’s what he does. In the victory gallop I sat up and dropped the reins he immediately comes down and says, ‘Okay, we’ll walk out.'”

Bonner Carpenter from Dallas and her own Basco, a bay Dutch Warmblood gelding were in the lead after cross-country and had an accurate and clear show jumping round earning the pair the win and the victory gallop.

“He was feeling good today – he had a lot of jump left after yesterday,” said Carpenter. “He was supposed to do the two star this weekend but when we decided to go out to California to run a three-star in two weekends, we decided to drop him down to Open Intermediate. Overall I think it went really well. It was a good prep for our CCI ** in two weekends and I really couldn’t ask for it to be much better.”

 International rider James Atkinson who hails from Ramona, California and Landonn II OHF, owned by Dan Michaels were in the lead going into the show jumping phase. Atkinson had jumped the horse only once before competing him at this event. He had never flatted him until his dressage test. The pair earned a remarkable 32.2 in dressage maintained through cross-country. Today, with a gorgeous, fault-free show jumping round the pair won the division by 8.2 points.  

“He’s an awesome rider, isn’t he?” said Michaels. “He’s been trying to teach me and I’m very green. I didn’t get on a horse until I was 45.This a special horse and we’re both green and we’re trying to make this leap into prelim and having a hard time. He’s 10-years-old. I bought him as a yearling. I’ve done everything on him until this moment. It’s pretty cool.”

 “He jumped well,” said Atkinson. “He’s pretty exciting. He is a really cool horse. I think we’re going to go forward and get him up to California and do some stuff. He really couldn’t have been any better this weekend.”  

About the Colorado Horse Park 

 Celebrating its 21th Anniversary, the Colorado Horse Park was founded by visionary Helen Krieble who acknowledged the need for a high-volume horse show and horse boarding facility to serve Colorado.  The Colorado Horse Park welcomes more than 35,000 visitors per year and hosts over 40 competitions annually.  CHP features a derby arena designed by Olympic-designer Linda Allen and a cross-country course designed by Olympic Gold Medalist David O’Connor and eventing super-star James Atkinson. There are 300 permanent stalls with capacity for more than 1,000 stalls.

 The picturesque property, located only minutes from the town of Parker, hosts international equestrian events in multiple disciplines. Visitors enjoy the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountain surroundings and access to miles of trails and open space.  The Colorado Horse Park is committed to supporting equestrian education and amateur athletics, preserving open space, fundraising for local charities and supporting the community.

Visit CHP at:

Fast Facts Colorado Horse Park CCI **/* Training Three-Day, Novice Three-Day and Horse Trials:

 Friday, August 22, 2014
 to Sunday, August 24, 2014 

Sidelines Blog from WEG #2: Lights, camera, action! Games Opening Ceremony a Sensory Tour de Force

August 25, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

"Chess piece" (horse) being directed to its next move on the "chessboard" that was created on the arena floor with grid lighting

“Chess piece” (horse) being directed to its next move on the “chessboard” that was created on the arena floor with grid lighting

By Darlene Ricker

Photo by Diana De Rosa

Who else but the French can turn the floor of a soccer stadium into a magical mystery tour? That’s the only way to describe Saturday night’s Opening Ceremony for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy. From the first horse that swept into the arena to the final cadre of performers, D’Ornano Stadium became a cavalcade of lights and imagery.

With 21,000 spectators, the stands were packed and the energy high for hours as the theme, “Around the World in 80 Horses,” played out. More than 100 horses and 300 people performed while special effects and lighting techniques turned the arena floor into incredibly lifelike backdrops. As one scene morphed into another, you couldn’t help but wonder: Am I really seeing what I think I’m seeing? (Truth be told, it was one of those things you had to witness in person to fully appreciate. The photos that accompany this story can only give a hint of how spectacular the Opening Ceremony really was.)

At first glance the arena looked like a barren desert, and then, before you could blink your eyes, the makeshift “sands” shifted and a village of what looked like white tents appeared to pop up. While I was trying to figure out whether they were real or an illusion, they suddenly turned into shimmering, multicolored structures, each with a unique pattern and design. It looked as though the “tents” were woven of fabrics of different textures – but of course, there were no fabrics because there were no tents. There was only a gateway to the imagination.

Nomadic riders circle around what appeared to be multicolored "tents" but were an optical illusion

Nomadic riders circle around what appeared to be multicolored “tents” but were an optical illusion

Set against a backdrop of inky black sky, the spectacle in D’Ornano Stadium spun a web of wonder as it played with our senses. At times the arena floor seemed to turn liquid and become an ocean, its waves building and advancing toward the bleachers. If you didn’t know better, you’d have sworn you were about to be swallowed up.

These and other effects kept spectators engaged during the program, which showcased the magnificence of the horse and its role in the advancement of civilization. Performances took us on a tapestry of historical turns, from the prehistoric era of nomads and Przewalski’s horse to the Vikings (who ruled the seas from the year 800 to 1066) and on to the story of William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings in 1066 (when the Normans seized the English crown). Then the Renaissance arrived, illustrated by a dance of classical horses at a lightshow-created Palace of Versailles – the fabled abode of King Louis XIV (who also built the French National Stud at Le Pin, where the dressage and cross-country phases of three-day eventing will be held later this week).

The Battle of Hastings in 1066

The Battle of Hastings in 1066

But the Opening Ceremony wasn’t just a pretext for a history lesson. As time marched on (that concept illustrated by a moving “clock” that appeared on the arena floor, with riders weaving in and out of “time”), the performances took on a modernistic flair, depicting a fantasy world of particle acceleration and time and space travel. There were also some whimsical and intellectual touches, such as a lighting grid that turned the arena floor into a giant black-and-white chessboard. Black and white horses slowly changed positions in the manner that chess pieces would strategically be moved from one square to another.

The ceremony closed with crowd favorite Lorenzo (the “Flying Frenchman”) and his band of Lusitanos, which performed at liberty, completely without tack. The herd galloped into the arena, followed by Lorenzo standing atop two others, each of his feet planted on one of the horse’s backs. From his moving perch, he guided the herd through synchronized moves, looking all the while like he was conducting a symphony orchestra. How he could influence those horses to do exactly as he wanted from afar, without so much as speaking to them, epitomized the magic of the entire evening.

Lorenzo, "the Flying Frenchman," reacts to a standing ovation as he closes the Opening Ceremony

Lorenzo, “the Flying Frenchman,” reacts to a standing ovation as he closes the Opening Ceremony

The Dressage Foundation Announces New Carolyn Van Cise Memorial Fund

August 23, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Carolyn Van Cise ransom trophy


August 21, 2014 – The Dressage Foundation is honored to announce that friends and family of Carolyn Van Cise have established a new grant Fund in her memory to benefit young riders from Michigan.

Carolyn was active in Michigan’s dressage community for many years as a trainer, instructor, judge, and mentor. Dressage was her passion and she served as a role model for those she knew. In addition to serving in many roles for the Midwest Dressage Association, including President, Carolyn was also very active in her community and church. Carolyn passed away on March 31, 2014.

A Carolyn Van Cise Memorial Sportsmanship Grant will be awarded annually to a Junior/Young Rider who is a current Michigan resident and best exemplifies the qualities that Carolyn found most important in life, including exhibiting the characteristics that demonstrate positive sportsmanship principles. Recipients of this grant will receive $500 to be used towards expenses associated with attending a specific educational eventing or dressage event of their choice.

“We are very honored to be the ‘home’ of this new Fund to benefit young riders from Michigan,” said Jenny Johnson, TDF’s Executive Director. “It is our pleasure to help young riders continue their dressage education while exhibiting the qualities that Carolyn encouraged in so many.”

One annual $500 grant will be available at this time. Applications are due on or before October 15th of each year. A Selection Committee will review applications and announce a decision no later than December 15th. The application can be found at under the Young Rider section of “Apply for a Grant.”

For more information about the Carolyn Van Cise Memorial Sportsmanship Fund or The Dressage Foundation, please contact Jenny Johnson at (402) 434-8585, by email at, or visit


The Dressage Foundation

The Dressage Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, tax-exempt, donor-driven organization that is dedicated to supporting and advancing the sport of dressage. The organization solicits contributions, appropriately allocates the donations, and awards grants and scholarships to dressage riders of all ages and levels. For more information, please visit

Sidelines Blog from WEG #1: Let the Games Begin!

August 22, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Darlene Arrives at WEG! Photo by Diana De Rosa

Darlene Arrives at WEG!
Photo by Diana De Rosa

This is the first of Darlene Ricker’s exclusive blog posts for Sidelines from the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy. One of the few journalists to arrive in Caen several days before the Games open, her initial report gives our readers a unique insider’s preview of what’s in store. 

The tunnel from which the horses will enter the arena.

The tunnel from which the horses will enter the arena.

By Darlene Ricker

Photos by Darlene Ricker, unless noted otherwise

Tomorrow the curtain goes up on the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy, in what is sure to be the most amazing Opening Ceremony in Games history. As the suspense builds, the Normandy Organizing Committee (which everyone here refers to as the “NOC”) is keeping a tight lid on the program. At tonight’s rehearsal, I will be among the few to get a preview of what’s in store. But not to be a spoiler, I’ll only be able to share with you my general impressions until after the actual ceremony.

The equestrian marching band practicing for the opening ceremony.

The equestrian marching band practicing for the opening ceremony.

However, this much I can say now: I had a chat with Games CEO Fabien Grobon, who told me there will be numerous surprises for the senses. He alluded in particular to special effects and animation, some of which will make spectators feel as though they are standing onstage with the performers, actually experiencing the action, not just observing it from the stands. “I guarantee, you have never seen anything like this!” he said. On that you can rely; I have known Fabien for five years, and he is a man of his word. Given that he was for many years in charge of marketing and entertainment for the top tennis tournament in the world – the French Open – one can’t even begin to imagine how impressive this Opening Ceremony will be.

Stabling area at main arena (D'Ornano) is the white tents at left. It is about 20 feet from the sidewalk in the center of the city of Caen. You can hear horses whinneying from the sidewalk cafes & bistros.

Stabling area at main arena (D’Ornano) is the white tents at left. It is about 20 feet from the sidewalk in the center of the city of Caen. You can hear horses whinneying from the sidewalk cafes & bistros.

Meanwhile, the city of Caen (where most of the competition venues are), along with the rest of Normandy, is revving up for a 15-day extravaganza. Yesterday, I spotted U.S. dressage chef d’equipe Robert Dover strolling around town, just outside d’Ornano Stadium, a magnificent venue that will host the Opening Ceremony and the competitions for two of the most popular disciplines (dressage and show jumping), as well as the show jumping phase of eventing. D’Ornano was originally a soccer stadium and has been completely revamped for the Games. I walked through it and was amazed – and it takes a lot to amaze me after several decades covering international equestrian events. There literally is not a bad seat in the house (no posts to obstruct your view anywhere). The spectator seating ay d’Ornano completely surrounds the arena and is stacked low, so that you feel very close to the action. What a spectacular setting!

I also checked out the stabling area (which I won’t be able to do again after the horses arrive, as FEI stabling is strictly off limits to everyone except athletes, grooms and officials; this is for security and equine health reasons). The stalls are lovely, light and airy, with fresh bales of shavings waiting to be broken open when the horses arrive. There is additional stabling just like this at each of the venues, which is a great convenience for competitors.

The Alltech Media Lounge - where Darlene will spend lots of time updating Sidelines!

The Alltech Media Lounge – where Darlene will spend lots of time updating Sidelines!

Speaking of convenience, the organizers even decided to build a temporary hotel for the three-day event competitors and their teams at Haras du Pin (the venue for the dressage and cross-country phases of eventing), so that they can be close to their horses at all times of day and night. Haras du Pin is normally an hour’s drive (without Games traffic) from d’Ornano Stadium, where the show jumping phase of eventing will be held. Eventing discipline manager Jean-Marc Varillon told me how pleased he was that the Games organizers went to such lengths to ensure the comfort, safety and convenience of the horses and riders.

That is the case across the board for each discipline in these World Championships, with every luxury a competitor could imagine being provided. After all, as Fabien puts it, “These athletes are not coming to compete; they’re coming to make a place in history.”

Let the Games begin!

The stadium - soon to be filled!

The stadium – soon to be filled!

Follow the Foal: Dressage at Devon 2014 — Damascus

August 19, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Devon, PA (August 5, 2014) – Each year, the Dressage at Devon Breed Show hosts hundreds of well-bred colts and fillies. Each is the product of careful breeding and watchful tending as they, hopefully, grow into champions. And each year, Dressage at Devon chooses one to follow on their path to Dressage at Devon. This year, we will follow Damascus, a striking colt, with a big blaze and lots of chrome. 

Damacus was bred and is owned by one of the world’s top riders, Catherine Haddad Staller. Catherine was actually first known in Germany for her success in breeding horses – long before she was recognized as a competitive rider. But, while her fame and success grew as a rider, Catherine remained focused on breeding the best.  A few years ago, Haddad Staller brought a filly, Raureif (Elfentanz x Ramiros Bube) that Haddad-Staller also bred, to the United States as a yearling. Now four years old, she is the new mother of a lovely Don Principe colt name Damascus.

“Standing next to his mother, he looks like the type of horse that should be stamped on a coin,” said Haddad Staller proudly. 

Damascus is friendly and curious, already doing well with his introduction to things like being handled and groomed and walking with a halter. 

Look for additional updates on the Dressage at Devon website ( as the show draws near.

Dressage at Devon 2014 will take place September 23 through September 28, 2014. Reserved seating is available online for Dressage at Devon 2014 at Box seats are in demand so, for information as to availability or for group sales, please contact Robbie Kankus at, tickets@dressageatdevon.orgor 610-358-1919.

About Dressage at Devon

Dressage at Devon ( has been the premier North American Equestrian event since its founding by the Delaware Valley Combined Training Association in 1975, and became a separate organization in 2006.  It combines world-class dressage competition and the world’s largest open breed show with the international Fall Festival show and special activities for the entire family.  The six-day event attracts hundreds of horses from around the world and thousands of spectators.  Dressage at Devon is a 501(c) (3) PA non-profit organization, benefitting equine education.

Washington International Horse Show Tickets Now On Sale

August 17, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Washington, D.C. – August 15, 2014 – The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) is pleased to announce the opening of ticket sales for the 2014 competition scheduled for Oct. 21-26 at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C.

Tickets are available for purchase at the Verizon Center box office, online at or by calling 1-800-745-3000. General admission tickets for daytime performances are $15 (plus applicable service charges), Tuesday through Sunday, with children 12 and under admitted for free. VIP section seating is available for evening performances. For more information on ticket pricing and group discounts, military/seniors and students, please call 202-661-5061 or visit


Riders from around the world take on the toughest course of the week on Saturday night in the $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix. Last year’s winner was Kent Farrington aboard the amazing Blue Angel. Photo copyright Shawn McMillen Photography.

The WIHS is the country’s leading metropolitan indoor horse show, and annually produces one week of exciting events and world-class competition in the nation’s capital. Spectators are invited to watch some of the world’s best international show jumping, elite hunter competition, and the top junior riders in the country. VIP hospitality, boutique shopping and a silent auction add to the special experience.

WIHS provides family-friendly entertainment options including the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championships and other exciting equestrian exhibitions, Saturday’s free Kids’ Day, Thursday’s Barn Night, featuring spirit contests, scavenger hunts and Wednesday morning’s Breakfast with the Mounted Police. For further event details visit:

Enjoy the fast, furious and fun WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase races on Thursday and Saturday nights! Photo copyright Shawn McMillen Photography.

Enjoy the fast, furious and fun WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase races on
Thursday and Saturday nights! Photo copyright Shawn McMillen Photography.

Highlights of the 2014 WIHS include the $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix (a World Cup qualifier) on Saturday, Oct. 25; the $25,000 Puissance (high jump competition) on Friday’s Military Night, presented by The Boeing Company; and the WIHS Equitation Finals, featuring the country’s top junior riders, also on Saturday. More than half a million dollars in prize money and special awards will be presented at the show throughout the week. Learn more about the Washington International Horse Show and the WIHS Regional Horse Show & USHJA Zone 3 Finals at www.wihs.orgjoin us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

About the Washington International Horse Show
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show attracts more than 26,000 spectators to the six-day show, which includes Olympic-level competition along with community and charity events. More than 500 top horses and riders come to D.C. from all over the globe to jump for more than a half a million dollars in prize money. In 2014, the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the international governing body for all Olympic equestrian disciplines, raised the show’s rating to CSI4*-W to reflect the increase in prize money for international show jumping. Event highlights include the Puissance high jump competition on Military Night (Friday), the $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, a World Cup qualifier (Saturday night) and Kids’ Day (Saturday), a free, fun and educational community event. The Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.


Colvin Takes Top Honors in the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship Classic Hunter Round

August 17, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Lexington, KY – August 15 – Tori Colvin and Inclusive claimed victory in the Classic Hunter Round of the $180,040 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. Their scores of 92, 90 and 95 for a 289 total was unmatched after a field of 75 horses contested today’s course in the Kentucky Horse Park’s Rolex Stadium.

 Jimmy Torano, the busiest rider with eight mounts in the class, saved the best for last as he guided Mindful to second place with 90, 92 and 94 for 288 total points.

 Liza Boyd and Brunello returned from a nine-month maternity leave just in time to defend their championship, and they placed third in the Classic Hunter Round with scores of 88.65, 89.75 and 90.

 The Classic Hunter Round featured a track of 13 obstacles that simulated the fences found in the hunt field–such as logs, brush and walls–with heights ranging from 3’6″ to 4′. The course offered riders an opportunity to pick up bonus points by taking any one or all of the four optional fences set at a minimum of 4’3 in height (no maximum height).

Photo Credit: Shawn McMillen Photography

Photo Credit: Shawn McMillen Photography

 Inclusive, an 11-year-old warmblood owned by Betsee Parker, hadn’t contested a derby since last year’s International Hunter Derby Championship when they placed second in the Consolation Round after a bobble in the Classic Hunter Round.The judges included James Clapperton, Jeanne Marie Dunford-Miller, Hap Hansen, Scott Williamson, Julie Winkel and Chris Wynne, who were split into panels of two and placed in strategic positions around the Sheila C. Johnson Ring.

 Colvin, 16, of Loxahatchee, FL, wasn’t concerned that her longtime partner might be a little rusty after being sidelined by an injury, and, in fact, their scheduling was part of the plan.

 “We showed him at Devon and Junior Hunter Finals, and a he’s done a couple of shows, but we wanted to keep him fresh and ready,” she said. “He never spooks, and we thought he would be perfect just to go right into Derby Championship.”

 Colvin enjoyed the course designed by Steve Stephens, which was one that Inclusive jumped beautifully.

 “I thought it was really nice. It was very open and beautiful. For the first round it wasn’t too spooky, and the high options weren’t too high so it was a nice course,” she said, noting that she particularly liked the new wagon wheel fence, which caused consternation for some but not the flashy bay gelding.

 While Colvin is known for her nerves of steel, the butterflies just might surface before tomorrow evening’s Handy Hunter Round.

 “I feel amazing,” she said. “I’ve never had a really good round going into the second round. So, it’s very different being on top going into the second round. There’s no pressure, and I don’t really get nervous. I’m just going to go in and see how he feels and what happens.”

 Torano, of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, felt some pressure during today’s Classic Hunter Round because he took over the rides for Kelley Farmer, who broke her collarbone and had surgery on August 11.

 Glefke and Kensel’s Mindful, a 10-year-old Hanoverian, rose to the occasion today, performing to expectations and erasing some of the disappointment that occurred earlier in the class when bad luck ensued.

 “So, the nice thing was that in a way they saved the best for last,” said Torano. “Going in, I thought that was the horse we could do it on. I think before I went there was a lot of pressure riding on me. But the fact that [my final horse] was that horse, I was so relaxed. I mean, that horse could jump the course by itself. He is that easy to ride.”

 Glefke praised Torano for his work today and said it’s a rare individual who can jump on eight unfamiliar horses and ride around the Rolex Stadium.

 “Kelley and I chose Jimmy for this job,” he said. “Liza would have been a choice to do that job, too, but she’s just coming back from having a child. There are only a few people in the world that could have done what Jimmy did today. And, I have to say, he did a brilliant job.”

Photo Credit: Shawn McMillen Photography

Photo Credit: Shawn McMillen Photography

 Boyd, of Camden, SC, also rode brilliantly today after returning to the show ring just last month after having her daughter Adeline. While the girls at the barn kept Brunello in work during his nine-month break from the show ring, Boyd had an abbreviated timetable so she was committed to making every day count.
“I really wanted to be fit here really for that horse, because who knows how many more years he has,” said Boyd of the 16-year-old Hanoverian. “And he doesn’t owe me anything. He feels great. I wanted to be ready for him. So, in about 100-degree weather I rode five or six horses a day. It was a lot of sweat and a few tears.”

 Morgan Ward, of Milford, NJ, won the top Junior Owner Rider Award in today’s Classic Hunter Round. After going first in the class and setting the pace, Ward finished 16th aboard Comissario with scores of 84, 84 and 83 for a 263 total.

 Callie Seaman, of Greenwich, CT, finished in 24th place and earned the top Amateur Owner Rider Award aboard Carrico.

 Virginia-based professional Kelley Farmer once again won the 2013-14 Leading Rider of the International Hunter Derby Championship Qualifying Series with $145,448.

 Mythical, owned by David Gochman, won the 2013-14 Leading Horse of the International Hunter Derby Championship Qualifying Series with $51,756.

 Kristy Herrera earned the Leading Developing Pro Rider of the 2013-14 International Hunter Derby Championship Qualifying Series with $11,200.

 This year the riders will once again contest a tiered Handy Hunter Round format. The top 25 pairs return for action in the $135,030 Section A Handy Hunter Round, with 10 horses shown by Tier I Riders and 15 horses shown by Tier II Riders.

 The $45,010 Section B Handy Hunter Round includes a field of 20 riders, with five jumping for Section B money only. The scores for the 15 Tier II Riders in the Section A Handy Hunter Round carry over to the Section B Handy Hunter Round.

 The remainder of the field was invited to contest the $10,000 Derby Challenge, supported by Moyer Farm LLC, and 39 entries are on the order of go for tomorrow.

 To view the full results and to see the orders of go for tomorrow’s Handy Hunter Rounds, please visit

The USHJA, in partnership with the USEF Network, is providing a free live webcast of the evening’s activities, beginning at 3:45 p.m. ET. For a complete schedule of the evening’s competition, please see the USHJA website (

 The 2014 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship is generously sponsored by: Major Sponsor Dietrich Equine Insurance; Official Cooler: Blue Ribbon Custom Blankets; Challenge Prize Money Donor: Moyer Farm LLC; Awards Sponsors: Essex ClassicsDover SaddleryGrand PrixMcGuinn Farm, Gifted Paddock, Shapley’s and Ariat; Hospitality Sponsor: SmartPak,; Gift Donors: Janet Peterson. The USHJA Official Sponsors include: Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Nutrena, Standlee Hay Company and Charles Owen. USHJA Contributing Sponsors including Perfect Products and Crown Equine Services.

Hampton Classic Horse Show to Kick off with The Atlantic Opening Day Sunday, August 24

August 14, 2014 By: janwest Category: General


Bridgehampton, NY – August 14, 2014 – The 39th annual Hampton Classic Horse Show returns to Bridgehampton, NY, starting with The Atlantic Opening Day on Sunday, August 24.  The Classic, which runs August 24-31, features world-class show jumping competition, as well as magnificent shopping and a variety of entertainment attractions.
The highlight of the Classic’s The Atlantic Opening Day is the $50,000 Clear Channel Hunter Derby, presented by MeadowView Farms, which will take place at noon in the Classic’s famed Grand Prix Field.  The Derby follows the adorable SeaAire leadline classes, judged by Olympic gold medalist Joe Fargis, which feature riders as young as 2 years old.  In addition, traditional Local Hunter Divisions will include the Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists Professional Division, the Revco Local Junior Hunter division, and the Local Amateur-Owner division, all open to horses that make their home on Long Island. 


“The Atlantic Opening Day activities set the Classic off on a great foot,” said Shanette Barth Cohen, Executive Director of the Hampton Classic.  “Our local Long Island exhibitors get their chance to take center stage and spectators are able to see top level hunters in action!”


Kids will not be left out of the Opening Day  fun with many activities taking place in the Kids Tent! Cookie decorating with gourmet market, Citarella, live animals from Long Island Livestock Co., and activities with Church Street School for Music & Art will all be taking place throughout the day.


Singing the national anthem to open the Classic will be stars from the Bay Street Theatre’s “My Life is a Musical,” and Pop Chips samples will be handed out in the boutique garden by popstars. 


Those wanting to get a taste of VIP accommodations without the commitment of booking for the entire week are in luck as Opening Day tables are available a la carte. While the ringside tables are already sold out, some Hunter tables are still available, and reservations to book tickets for Robbins Wolfe Eventeurs’ delicious Hunt Breakfast are still possible. 


white horse

The Hampton Classic features more than 100 classes of competition including jumper, hunter, equitation, short stirrup and leadline classes, as well as competitions for riders with disabilities.  The Classic features 6 show rings, a Boutique Garden with more than 70 vendors, and a wide selection of dining options, on its 60-acre show grounds.

 The world-class field of Grand Prix riders competes daily in the Classic’s open jumper division, which features an FEI-recognized Grand Prix on three consecutive days, Friday through Sunday, August 29-31 – the $50,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Qualifier presented by LONGINES on Friday, the $40,000 Longines Cup on Saturday presented by the Crown Family, and Sunday’s $250,000 Grand Prix and FEI World Cup™ Qualifier, presented by Land Rover, a qualifying competition for the 2015 Longines FEI World Cup Final in Las Vegas next April.  In addition, the rider who accumulates the most points in the horse show’s Open Jumper division wins the $30,000 Longines Rider Challenge.

The Hampton Classic also features ASPCA Adoption and Animal Welfare Day onMonday, August 25. This event helps with finding permanent homes for rescued, horses, dogs, cats, and pigs.


Further information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show is available at the Hampton Classic website  or by calling 631-537-3177.  Hampton Classic Horse Show, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation.


Jake Miller, AJR and Sabrina Carpenter to join Fifth Harmony at Tween Brands Concert at The Classic Presented by Justice & Brothers:

August 10, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Tickets on sale for The New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix & Family Day Presented by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Ohio’s camouflage-wearing and greasepaint covered “Millertary” can officially rejoice. Jake Miller, indie pop sensation AJR and singer/songwriter and star of Disney Channel’s hit show Girl Meets World, Sabrina Carpenter will join Fifth Harmony as performers in the Tween Brands Concert at The Classic, presented by Justice & Brothers.

jake miller

The 17th annual New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix & Family Day presented by JPMorgan Chase & Co., which draws more than 18,000 people annually, is scheduled for September 21, 2014, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at the home of Abigail and Leslie Wexner in New Albany, Ohio. The Tween Brands Concert, which draws an audience from all over the Midwest and is a highlight of the day long family event, will begin at 10:30 am.

Tickets for The Classic are available for purchase through, at Ticketmaster outlets or through the Ticketmaster phone number, at the CAPA ticket center or through the CAPA phone number, and at the Guest Services kiosk at Easton Town Center. Tickets are $23.00 for each person 11 or older, $7.50 for children between the ages of 4 and 10, and free for children 3 and younger. The cost of the ticket includes the Tween Brands Concert at The Classic, a free public meet and greet with a celebrity (soon to be announced!), an internationally sanctioned Grand Prix equestrian show jumping competition, and a variety of interactive activities and rides at the Family Day promenade. All ticket proceeds go directly to The Center for Family Safety and Healing, a local non-profit organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of family violence.

Jake Miller will undoubtedly bring legions of his passionate followers, dubbed the Millertary, when he performs at The Classic. The 21-year-old from Miami started by posting songs on YouTube several years ago and is now a full-fledged pop sensation. Miller was named one of MTV’s “One to Watch” and sold-out a 43-city House of Blues Tour before recently signing with Warner Bros. Records. He released his new single “First Flight Home” on July 5th, a track on which Miller worked with an international icon: Danish songwriter-producer Cutfather.

Miller’s songs feature a blend of pop and hip-hop with uniquely positive messages that speak to his core audience, including his over 630,000 Instagram followers! He has independently released two EP’s, 2012’s Spotlight and 2013’s The Road Less Traveled, which debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Hip-Hop Chart. His 2013 full-length Us Against Them peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Rap chart.

The three Met brothers who make up AJR (Adam, Jack and Ryan) truly define the DIY Pop genre. Recording in their living room on a $99 microphone, AJR is best known for their buoyant electro-pop single “I’m Ready” which currently has over 4.8 million views on YouTube. The hit single, which they recently performed on The Today Show, is charting at Top 40 radio with nearly 500,000 singles sold to date. The trio boasts a resume featuring tour dates with Lindsey Stirling, The Wanted, Demi Lovato and Hoodie Allen.

Born and raised in New York City, 23-year-old Adam (bass/vocals) and 20-year-old Ryan (guitar/piano/vocals) attend Columbia University while 16-year-old Jack bides his time in high school. AJR truly got its start performing in New York City’s Central Park and Washington Square, honing a sound featuring harmonizing reminiscent of Simon & Garfunkel and The Beach Boys.

Rounding out this year’s sensational lineup is Hollywood Records recording artist Sabrina Carpenter, a singer/songwriter and powerhouse vocalist with a sophisticated edge. Sabrina just released her debut four song EP titled Can’t Blame a Girl for Trying and is set to release her major label full-length debut in early 2015. Sabrina’s passion for performing also includes acting and she can be seen in the hit show Girl Meets World, which premiered on the Disney Channel this June.

The Tween Brands Concert is a highly anticipated part of The Classic and is known for presenting the most current and hottest pop acts that appeal to the tween and teen audience.  Previous performers include Ariana Grande, Emblem3, Demi Lovato, Big Time Rush, The Jonas Brothers, Hot Chelle Rae, David Archuleta and Jordin Sparks and others!

AJR and Miller will precede Fifth Harmony on the Tween Brands stage. Fifth Harmony, a five-member girl group best known for their hit single “Miss Movin’ On, was announced earlier this summer. Since coming together on the second season of the X Factor, Fifth Harmony has been on a meteoric rise.  They won their first major awards at the 2014 Radio Disney Music Awards when they picked up trophies for “Breakout Artist of The Year” and “Best Song To Rock Out To With Your BFF.” They recently surpassed 3.2 million followers on Facebook and 1.3 million on Twitter.



“BO$$,” the lead single off their upcoming album, was released on July 8th, sending both the single and the video to the Top 10 on the iTunes chart! Fifth Harmony performed a medley of their hits, including their new single “BO$$” on The Today Show on July 11th to a packed crowd in Rockefeller Center. The new album, to be released this fall, is the follow up to their EP Better Together which landed at #6 on the Billboard Top 200 and was Top 10 on iTunes charts in 41 countries. Fifth Harmony is nominated for ‘Choice Music Group’ at the Teen Choice Awards, airing August 10th on FOX.