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Palm Beach Polo Wins PoloGear® Challenge Cup; Kris Kampsen Named Most Valuable Player

June 04, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

 Polo Gear co-founders and awards presenters Gary Fellers and Jeanette Sassoon with Palm Beach Polo's winning team of Kris Kampsen, Carlos Gracida Jr., Brandon Phillips and Glenn Straub.  Photo by Scott Fisher


Polo Gear co-founders and awards presenters Gary Fellers and Jeanette Sassoon with Palm Beach Polo’s winning team of Kris Kampsen, Carlos Gracida Jr., Brandon Phillips and Glenn Straub.
Photo by Scott Fisher

Wellington, FL – May 19, 2014 – Palm Beach Polo came from behind to capture the coveted PoloGear® Challenge Cup with a thrilling 11-10 victory over Pony Express on a sun-drenched Sunday afternoon at windswept Grand Champions Polo Club.

In a hard-fought physical battle, Palm Beach Polo (Glenn Straub, Brandon Phillips, Kris Kampsen, Carlos Gracida Jr.) erased a four-goal opening chukker deficit and three-goal third and fourth chukker deficits against Pony Express (Justin Daniels, Pancho Eddy, Tomas Goti, Bob Daniels).

Six-goaler Kris Kampsen was named Most Valuable Player after his Herculean effort playing twelve chukkers over four hours.

Most Valuable Player Kris Kampsen of Palm Beach Polo. Photo by Scott Fisher

Most Valuable Player Kris Kampsen of Palm Beach Polo. Photo by Scott Fisher

Kampsen played for his regular team Casablanca (Gene Goldstein, Grant Ganzi, Roberto Gonzales, Kris Kampsen) in the subsidiary round robin against PoloGear® (Melissa Ganzi, Guille Aguero, Alejandro Gonzales, Joey Casey) and Audi (Matias Gonzalez, Marc Ganzi, Jeff Hall, Lucas Lalor) and then filled in for Palm Beach Polo’s big-hitting star Tommy Biddle, who was hospitalized on Saturday with a medical emergency.

 In the subsidiary round robin, Casablanca's Kris Kampsen warms up for the final against Polo Gear's Joey Casey and Alejandro Gonzales. Photo by Scott Fisher


In the subsidiary round robin, Casablanca’s Kris Kampsen warms up for the final against Polo Gear’s Joey Casey and Alejandro Gonzales. Photo by Scott Fisher

Kampsen, rated at six goals, was a dominant force scoring six goals for Casablanca and four goals for Palm Beach Polo.

Against Pony Express, Kampsen played well defensively, turning back two Pony Express scoring attempts late in the game.

 Kris Kampsen of Palm Beach Polo tries to avoid the hook of Pancho Eddy of Pony Express. Photo by Scott Fisher


Kris Kampsen of Palm Beach Polo tries to avoid the hook of Pancho Eddy of Pony Express. Photo by Scott Fisher

“I got a phone call this morning at 7 to fill in for Tommy,” Kampsen said. “He was in a lot of pain so I told him I would absolutely play.

“Not knowing the horses you don’t know what you are able to do and not able to do,” Kampsen said. “Pony Express has been playing together the whole season and this team has been playing one way with Tommy. It helps that Brandon and I have played a lot together and that with Carlos we grew up playing Gracida polo.

“It took us a couple of chukkers to get incorporated with the four of us, but once we did it felt really good,” Kampsen said. “The fifth and sixth chukkers I felt really good. It’s great to win. Any time you can win it’s great, it’s a great feeling. No one wants to come to lose.”

 Brandon Phillips of Palm Beach Polo double teamed by father and son Bob and Justin Daniels. Photo by Scott Fisher


Brandon Phillips of Palm Beach Polo double teamed by father and son Bob and Justin Daniels. Photo by Scott Fisher

Teammate Brandon Phillips also scored four goals in the final and scored what turned out to be the tying and winning goals. Gracida added two goals and Straub scored one.

“Kris did a nice job filling in for Tommy after already playing six chukkers this morning,” said Straub, wearing a Miami Heat cap. “We started playing like a team and not individually.

“I am starting to learn a little bit more about this game,” Straub said. “It took me 17 years to learn to hit a straight ball. This sport is beyond a doubt one of the most complicated sports to learn. You’re lucky if you can learn one thing each season.”

Palm Beach Polo's Glenn Straub retains possession of the ball despite defense from Justin Daniels of Pony Express. Photo by Scott Fisher

Palm Beach Polo’s Glenn Straub retains possession of the ball despite defense from Justin Daniels of Pony Express. Photo by Scott Fisher

Pony Express, a 10-goal rated team, was the underdog going in against 14-goal rated Palm Beach Polo, but ended up playing tough.

Pony Express started off with its handicapped 4-0 lead which Palm Beach Polo erased by the start of the second chukker with Phillips’ tying goal at the 6:06 mark.

Pony Express regained the lead (5-4) with its first goal from the field by Goti with 6:19 left in the third chukker. Pony Express pulled away for a three goal lead (7-4) with goals from Bob Daniels and Goti’s penalty-three shot.

 Pony Express teammates Tomas Goti and Pancho Eddy try to mount an offensive attack with Carlos Gracida Jr. of Palm Beach Polo defending. Photo by Scott Fisher


Pony Express teammates Tomas Goti and Pancho Eddy try to mount an offensive attack with Carlos Gracida Jr. of Palm Beach Polo defending. Photo by Scott Fisher

Kampsen and Phillips played well off each other in the fourth chukker. Kampsen sent a pass to Phillips who scored on a well-placed cut shot to trail by 7-5. After Gracida’s goal attempt hit the goal post, Eddy came back with a well-placed pass of his own to Goti for a goal and 8-5 advantage. Straub scored in the final seconds to again cut Pony Express’ lead to two (8-6).

The fast and furious pace continued in an exciting fifth chukker where goals from Phillips and Gracida tied the game at 8-8. At the 3:54 mark, Goti scored to give Pony Express a 9-8 advantage but Palm Beach Polo roared back behind Kampsen.

Kampsen blocked Goti’s goal attempt and then turned around to make his way through a crowd of defenders with a great effort to score the tying goal (9-9) with 2:54 left.

Palm Beach Polo went ahead for good on Gracida’s goal with 6:47. After two missed Pony Express goal attempts, Phillips converted a penalty-two shot for an 11-9 lead. Goti scored the final goal with 10 seconds left in the game.

Carlos Gracida Jr. of Palm Beach Polo races towards goal with Justin Daniels of Pony Express defending. Photo by Scott Fisher

Carlos Gracida Jr. of Palm Beach Polo races towards goal with Justin Daniels of Pony Express defending. Photo by Scott Fisher

“We were very happy with our team,” Goti said. “It is very hard for a 10-goal team to play against a 14-goal team. We were right there, we had our chances. I missed shots. Our team is like a family. We were here to have fun and improve.”

Goti led Pony Express with five goals and deft mallet play throughout the contest. Bob Daniels added one goal and four goals were picked up on handicap.

Playing well defensively was Pancho Eddy and Justin Daniels, a freshman at St. Andrew’s School and at 15 one of the youngest players in the tournament.

“We did well in the first half,” Bob Daniels said. “Then all of a sudden we gave up the lead. We had some problems with shooting fouls today. We missed about fifty goals, I don’t know how. It’s just the way it is. We played well against a stronger team.”

Goti’s horse, 8-year-old mare Choppa Floppy earned Best Playing Pony honors.

Joey Casey of Polo Gear drives downfield between Audi defenders Lucas Lalor and Matias Gonzalez. Photo by Scott Fisher

Joey Casey of Polo Gear drives downfield between Audi defenders Lucas Lalor and Matias Gonzalez. Photo by Scott Fisher

PoloGear® won the subsidiary round robin tournament and Audi was runner-up.

PoloGear® had an impressive 7-6 win over Casablanca in which Melissa Ganzi scored a game-high four goals. Ganzi also had two goals in a 4-3.5 loss to Audi including a perfectly-timed 60-yard angle shot within nine inches of the goal post. PoloGear® was eliminated by Palm Beach Polo by one goal in Friday’s opening game.

“We were better today,” Aguero said. “Today we were a different team. Melissa was on fire scoring all the goals.”

Guille Aguero of Polo Gear all alone with the ball downfield. Photo by Scott Fisher

Guille Aguero of Polo Gear all alone with the ball downfield. Photo by Scott Fisher

The tournament featured polo families Marc, Melissa and Grant Ganzi; Roberto and Alejandro Gonzales and Bob and Justin Daniels.

“I like playing with or against him, it doesn’t matter, but I love playing with him,” the 19-year-old Alejandro Gonzales said of his father and mentor. It was the first time Gonzales has competed alongside his PoloGear®teammates.

Matias Gonzalez of Audi tries to bump Alejandro Gonzales of Polo Gear out of the play. Photo by Scott Fisher

Matias Gonzalez of Audi tries to bump Alejandro Gonzales of Polo Gear out of the play. Photo by Scott Fisher

“It was a pleasure playing with them,” Gonzales said. “These tournaments are great for someone my age and level. I am trying to improve every day. You improve your game by playing and that’s the opportunity I have. We played much better today than Friday where it was a little confusing. Today we were more of a team.”

Polo Gear co-founder Gary Fellers, who played polo for nearly forty years from zero to 26-goal, was pleased with the success of the two-day tournament. Fellers and PoloGear® co-founder Jeanette Sassoon presented the post-tournament awards.

“This was incredible, it is so exciting to come and see such a good game…up and down the field, passing the ball, running hard…it was very, very enjoyable,” Fellers said. “For this level of polo to see it so fast and everybody having fun is wonderful.

The coveted Polo Gear Challenge Cup on the Grand Champions Polo Club trophy table surrounded by Polo Gear swag. Photo by Scott Fisher

The coveted Polo Gear Challenge Cup on the Grand Champions Polo Club trophy table surrounded by Polo Gear swag. Photo by Scott Fisher

“We have had the PoloGear® Challenge Cup since the beginning,” Feller said. “We have been involved with Grand Champions for a long time. We will continue this and be involved with them at Polo West and Aspen. We are old friends with Marc and Melissa Ganzi and love what they are doing for polo. We are honored and proud to be part of it in any way we can.”

The five-team PoloGear® Challenge Cup was the fifth of six medium-goal tournaments of the spring season. The May 22-26 Memorial is the final spring tournament at Grand Champions.

PoloGear®, one of the top sponsors and supporters of polo established in 1993 and incorporated in Florida, manufactures, distributes and sells polo products to players, teams and polo events worldwide.

For more information on Polo Gear and to order products, visit www.pologearusa.com.

Photographs may only be used in relation to this Phelps Media Group press release.

2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival Awards Circuit Championships

April 03, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Wellington, FL – April 3, 2014 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) is proud to congratulate all of the Circuit Champions for the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). The 2014 circuit was a huge success featuring twelve weeks of world-class competition January 8 through March 30 at the beautiful Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. The circuit awarded more than $8 million in prize money along with many other special awards. The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival Circuit Champion Awards were presented to the top finishers in every division, based on prize money and points won.

Emanuel Andrade was the Draper Overall Jumper Rider,
Andrea King was the Draper Overall Jumper Trainer,
and Hollow Creek Farm was the Draper Overall Jumper Owner

Venezuela’s Emanuel Andrade (17) had another very successful circuit showing in the Junior Jumper divisions as well as moving to up to compete at the grand prix level this year and was rewarded for his efforts with the Draper Overall Jumper Rider Award for the second year in a row. Andrade’s barn, Hollow Creek Farm, was also named Draper Overall Jumper Owner and his trainer, Andrea King, was the Draper Overall Jumper Trainer. Andrade also earned the Pin Oak Farm Perpetual Trophy, which is presented to the junior jumper rider who earned the most prize money throughout the circuit.

The Chapot family continued their years of success with many of the top horses in the circuit. Laura Chapot was circuit champion aboard Bradberry and reserve champion with Zealous in the Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Jumpers. She dominated the Derby Gold Shavings 1.35m Jumpers, earning the championship with Umberto and the reserve championship with Castellana. She was also reserve champion in the Adequan 7-Year-Old Young Jumpers with Cast a Dream and champion in the Adequan 8-Year-Old Young Jumpers with Out of Ireland.

Circuit Awards

Scott Stewart was named the Draper Overall Hunter Trainer for the fifth year in a row in Wellington. In addition to his own riding success, Stewart coached many horses and riders to top wins throughout the circuit.

 

Stewart was circuit champion in the Perfect Products High Performance Working Hunters and was presented with the Jay Matter Perpetual Trophy for his success withStephanie Danhakl’s Golden Rule. He was also circuit champion of the Equine Tack & Nutritionals First Year Green Working Hunters with Danhakl’s Quest as well as circuit champion of the Equine Tack & Nutritionals Second Year Green Working Hunters with Fashion Farm’s Loyalty. Stewart also took the circuit championship in the Shapley’s Grooming Products Green Conformation division with Dr. Betsee Parker’s Lucador.

 

Stewart coached Stephanie Danhakl to the circuit championship with Enough Said and the reserve championship with Quest in the Farmvet Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3″ 18-35 division. Enough Said earned the Wendy W. Newby Memorial Trophy as the High Score Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3″. Quest received the Champion Equine Insurance Overall Hunter Style award from Laura Fetterman.
Stewart’s student Lilli Hymowitz was champion in the Greenspoon Marder Law Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under with Rose Hill Farm’s Tiffani and reserve champion in the Equestrian Sotheby’s International Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under with Rose Hill Farm’s Enjoy. Stewart’s students dominated the Antarès Large Junior Hunter 16-17 as well, with Victoria Colvin and Dr. Betsee Parker’s Dedication taking the championship and Cloe Hymowitz and Rose Hill Farm’s Perfectionist finishing in reserve.

Victoria Colvin earned the circuit championship in the Antarès Large Junior Hunter 16-17 with Dr. Betsee Parker’s Dedication

Along with her hunter success, Colvin had many wins throughout the circuit in the junior jumper and equitation ranks as well. She was awarded The Christy Conard Perpetual Trophy for Equestrian Excellence for the second year in a row. The award is presented to the young equestrian who accumulates the most points in the USEF Hunter Seat Medal, USEF Show Jumping Talent search, ASPCA Maclay, and WIHS overall classes.
Kelley Farmer was the Draper Overall Hunter Rider for the third season in a row and her owners, Glefke & Kensell LLC, were the Draper WEF Overall Hunter Owners.

 

For Glefke & Kensell, Farmer and Connotation were the Pre-Green Level 2 circuit champions. Farmer was reserve champion in the Shapley’s Grooming Products Green Conformation with Scripted and dominated the Shapley’s Grooming Products Regular Conformation division, earning the championship with Quotable and taking home reserve honors with Tia Schurecht’s Back Story.

Kelley Farmer was the Draper Overall Hunter Rider,
pictured with Becky Shipps of Draper Therapies

For the second year in a row, Emma Kurtz was named the Overall Pony Hunter Rider for the circuit. Kurtz rode Cyprus Taraporevala’s Blackout to the Engel & Völkers Medium Pony Hunter championship. She was reserve champion in the Large Pony Hunters with Linda Evans’ Dreamland. She was also champion in the Small Green Pony Hunters withJamie Barge’s Likewise and topped the Medium Green Pony Hunter division with Joe White’s True Colors. True Colors also earned the James ‘Jim’ Brundage Memorial Trophy as the High Score Green Pony Hunter.

Emma Kurtz was the Overall Pony Hunter Rider

Equestrian Sport Productions congratulates everyone on a fantastic 2014 circuit. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.










About FTI Consulting, Inc.     

 

FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,100 employees located in 25 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.58 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2012.   

 

For more information, visit www.fticonsulting.com and connect with us on Twitter (@FTIConsulting), Facebook, and LinkedIn.  

 

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival    


The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 8 through March 30. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and $8 million in prize money will be awarded. 


Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Tina Konyot and Calecto V Clinch American Victory in FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 5* During AGDF 12 Canada’s Megan Lane and Caravella Earn Top Call in FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3*; Adrienne Lyle and Wizard Ace FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 5*; Chris Hickey and Ronaldo Win FEI Prix St. Georges

April 03, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Wellington, FL – March 28, 2014 – Competition for the AGDF 12 CDI 5* continued on Friday at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) with four major classes. Starting out the day, American Chris Hickey topped the FEI Prix St. Georges, presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty, with Cecelia Stewart’s Ronaldo earlier in the day on Friday. Fellow American Adrienne Lyle finished first with Peggy Thomas’ Wizard in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 5*, presented by Diamante Farms, which sponsored all of the large tour classes for the week. Megan Lane (CAN) and Caravella clinched the first place prize in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3* and Tina Konyot (USA) and Calecto V took top prize in Friday’s feature class, the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 5*. 

The FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 5* was the finale event of the “Friday Night Stars” series at the 2014 AGDF, and ended it in great fashion with a packed house of spectators.

 

Devon Kane of Diamante Farms was thrilled with Friday evening’s class after watching the AGDF develop from its infancy to the world-class dressage competition it has turned into.

 

“We’re just thrilled to be a part of this whole adventure,” Kane beamed. “These guys were amazing tonight; it’s spectacular to watch. You can see the crowd was so excited, and everybody’s just thrilled to have not only these people here that are blowing us all away but [riders of all levels].”

 Watch the CDI 5* Freestyle winning ride from Tina Konyot and Calecto V!
Watch the CDI 5* Freestyle winning ride from Tina Konyot and Calecto V!

Of sponsoring the season’s only five-star event, Kane commented, “We take great pride in that. It’s amazing to have a five star here in Wellington, and to be able to provide the upper echelon with that opportunity, we definitely take that seriously. We’re thrilled to be a part of the team and all the founding sponsors here.”

 

President of Equestrian Sport Productions Mark Bellissimo reflected on a hugely successful season for the AGDF, “We thought it would take four or five years for this to take hold, and I think we thought this is where we would be two years from now,” Bellissimo acknowledged. “We have a tremendous amount of interest, with people visiting and talking about coming next year, so it’s going to continue to grow. I want to thank Diamante Farms and all the other sponsors in this, because I think this is going to be one of the great places in the world for dressage. To be a part of it is an honor, and I think it will endure the test of time.”

 

Allyn Mann of Adequan shared his thoughts on the AGDF circuit as it reaches the half-way point of its final week of competition, reflecting on the 2014 circuit and the incredible growth the show has experienced since its inception three years ago.

Tina Konyot and Calecto V with ringmaster Gustavo Murcia, judge Anne Gribbons, Terri Kane of Diamante Farms, Allyn Mann of Adequan, and Katherine and Mark Bellissimo of Equestrian Sport Productions

“As I sit here and I reflect on this journey these last three months, the blessings have abounded big time. I think because of what we have, and what we have seen over these past few weeks, and where the future is going thanks to Mark and what your vision has been, [AGDF has turned into a world-class competition]. It’ll only get better, so we are honored to be in this wonderful position, to support a wonderful sport. It’s a blessing, and we’re very grateful to be a part of it,” Mann expressed.

 

Of the evening’s competition, judge Anne Gribbons added, “I’ve seen also now some horses that were struggling in the beginning of the season, and tonight came around and looked beautiful. Some of our up-and-coming horses had a fantastic effort tonight. It was a very tough class to judge. It’s been a fantastic venue and a really wonderful finale.”

 

Konyot (USA) received a crystal horse from the Esperanza Collection of Swarovski for her winning ride with Calecto V, her 16-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion out of Bahera by Come Back II. The pair earned an impressive 79.250% to pick up the top prize for the class, while second place finisher Mikala Gundersen scored a 76.775% with My Lady. Third place went to fellow Dane Lars Petersen and Mariett. The pair scored a 76.625% for their performance. Petersen was also awarded the Mary Ann McPhail Award for maintaining the highest international ranking of any rider throughout the twelve weeks of the AGDF.

 

“Calecto is like a fine wine,” Konyot grinned. “He just keeps getting better. I had a wonderful ride, just a great way to end the season. I had a wonderful experience; a great ride, a great feeling, great energy.”

Tina Konyot and Calecto V

Konyot was happy that Calecto seems to be peaking as he heads into the FEI World Cup Dressage Finals in April and was also especially pleased to earn their highest score yet in the grand prix freestyle.

 

“I’ve always been up in the 70s, but this has been my highest score so far. It’s a very good feeling, especially going into the World Cup, where [the freestyle] is an important score for me, so I’m very happy about that,” Konyot shared.

 

For the weeks leading up to the World Cup, Konyot will continue the same routine with Calecto, always striving to put her partner’s needs first to ensure his happiness and health. “He’s 16 years old, he’s done a WEG, an Olympics. This is not new for him, it’s not new for myself either, so we just want to have a great frame of mind, keep ourselves fresh, happy and healthy,” Konyot remarked.

 

Second place finisher Gundersen also enjoyed a personal best on Friday evening after a season of working on the mare’s fitness. “I have the vet check her after each show just to make sure everything is great, and he says, ‘It’s just amazing- this horse gets better and better every time I see her,'” Gundersen smiled.

Mikala Gundersen and My Lady

She continued, “I’m very happy with tonight. I had more collection in the canter today. I had been missing that a little bit in my prior tests, and that’s getting much better. I had some really good things in there today. For sure it’s our best test so far.”

 

Gundersen sang the praises of the AGDF for giving her the opportunity to develop her horse over the course of six CDI competitions. “I think she’s also gotten better in the season,” Gundrsen commented. “She’s not a young horse, but she’s still quite young in the grand prix, so having all these shows one after another has been very good for her. She’s matured enormously this season. She was so calm and so wonderful to ride tonight.”

 

Petersen also felt that Mariett was at the top of her game tonight. Of his ride, he commented, “I think tonight she was the best to ride that she has been, actually. I have a little thing at the moment with my piaffes, I have to keep them a little forward. And that’s a little bit expensive, but I’m very happy with her tonight.”

Lars Petersen and Mariett

Petersen has used his trademark circus-themed music for his freestyle for the past two years, but tweaked the choreography at the end of the season. He edited the one and two tempi changes, originally performed on a 20 meter circle in the middle of the arena before another line of two tempis.

 

“I’m getting too old to be riding that many tempis on a 20 meter circle!” Petersen joked. “That’s very difficult to do, and it’s such a big risk. You get one mistake in 31 tempis [and it can be costly], so that’s why I took it out. It’s too risky.”

 

Megan Lane and Caravella Earn Top Call in FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3*

 

Young professionals ruled in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 3*, with Canada’s Megan Lane (22) winning the class with Caravella. The pair score a 71.600% for the blue ribbon, while 26-year-old Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades took second with a 70.250%. Third place went to Gary Vander Ploeg (CAN) and Degas for their score of 68.350%.

 Watch Megan Lane and Caravella in their winning Freestyle test!
Watch Megan Lane and Caravella in their winning Freestyle test!

 

“I love riding my freestyle because of the amazing atmosphere that it creates for my horse,” Lane beamed. “She goes exceptionally well, so it’s always exciting to ride it. This is actually a new freestyle for me; it’s only my second time riding it. It’s done by Jos Peters, compliments of Deeridge Equestrian, who I ride for.”

 

Of her Spanish-themed music, Lane continued, “It’s so much fun to ride to. The Spanish theme I acquired because I had ridden it in the Young Riders, and I think it suits her personality. I really enjoy riding to that style of music.”

 

Lane listed several elements of her choreography as points that raise her degree of difficulty, including piaffe and double pirouettes, one and two tempis on a circle, and an extended trot on a loop.

Megan Lane and Caravella

“There was a little mistake in the one tempis, but because of the degree of difficulty in that, something always happens! Our piaffe-passage was definitely a highlight this time, too. I’m really happy with that,” Lane explained.

 

Lane has her eyes on making the team for Canada in the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) later this fall, and appreciated all of the experience she has gained over the last three months at the AGDF. “The experience is priceless. The more experience we get, the more comfortable both of us are. I’m so lucky to be able to come down here and have the chance to ride multiple grand prix,” Lane said.

 

Second place finisher Graves agreed, noting that she and Verdades have developed immensely as a team. “I really feel like our partnership has grown. We’re having a much more adult conversation these days. He plays in the field and we play in the stall and he’s a very goofy horse to be around, but getting in the arena and right away getting to work [has noticeably improved],” Graves explained.

 

Graves admitted that Verdades has always been a challenge, but her hard work and patience have paid off. When she realized their recent scores could qualify her for the WEG selection trials in Gladstone, NJ, she quickly threw together a freestyle for Verdades.

 

“When I realized I might have the scores to get to Gladstone, obviously one of the requirements is to do a freestyle. So I threw this together, and it obviously needs a lot of tweaking, a lot of rewriting of the choreography,” Graves acknowledged.

 

Of her test on Friday evening, she added, “He went right into the canter pirouettes. He’s riding a lot more like a trained horse, which is nice. I can ride him right up to it and then half-halt and turn him, and he was pretty honest. Also, because I don’t really know where I’m going in there, he has to stay with me and just kind of trust that we’re going to end up where we need to be.”

 

Adrienne Lyle and Wizard Ace FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 5*

 

Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Wizard capped off an incredible AGDF season with another victory lap after winning the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 5*. The pair earned a top score of 75.588% to earn the class by a substantial margin. Second place went to fellow American Michael Barisone, who rode Ellegria to a 69.392%. Cesar Parra completed an All-American top three with Van the Man. The pair earned a score of 69.078% for third place.

 Watch the winning ride for Adrienne Lyle and Wizard!
Watch the winning ride for Adrienne Lyle and Wizard!

Friday afternoon’s score was another personal best for the pair; Lyle described their performance as the perfect ending to a stellar season.

 

“It’s been a big changing season for him because he’s been up and down and kind of all over the place [in previous years],” Lyle said. “To have the chance to come to a facility like this and show on a regular basis, and not have it be a huge ordeal [is fanastic]. You’re not putting them through a ton of transport. The footing is great, the stabling is great, so I felt comfortable showing more than I maybe have in the past. I think that’s starting to make it more workman-like and more routine.”

Adrienne Lyle and Wizard

Lyle admitted she would have loved to ride the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 5*, but was committed to making her long-term goals a priority. The pair needed to put in some practice in the Special leading up to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) selection trials in Gladstone, NJ.

 

“I felt less rusty than last time. I chose to do the Special because it is so important for Gladstone and for the WEG qualification. As much as I would have really loved the freestyle tonight, I had to keep our long-term goals in mind, and I’m really glad I did. To have a Special that solid under our belt is really helpful for both of our confidences,” Lyle shared.

Barisone was equally thrilled with Ellegria’s performance, remarking that he never have imagined he would have the success he’s experienced with her. “She’s a wonderful horse. She’s honest as the day is long. She’s very simple to ride all the time. I just never thought we would be around 70%,” Barisone expressed.

 

He continued, “I watch my tape [of their rides] and I say there’s at least five more percent there, at least. This is a dead green, eight grand prix under her belt horse, and I’m getting second to [Adrienne], who’s been to the Olympics with her horse. I’m happy and proud to be in there, and I think she’s got a really long way to go.”

 

After his two top grand prix mounts were sidelined with injuries right before the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Barisone admitted to getting a bit disheartened, but Ellegria has pulled him out of his funk.

 

“She’s saving me,” Barisone smiled. “It is so easy, the disappointment when they get injured. All your hope is gone and you’re like ‘Why am I doing this?’ I had the two best I’ve ever had in my life, and the two best got hurt the same week. It was awful. This thing pops up in my life, and she’s putting the faith back in me.”

 

Barisone added that the AGDF has brought the first truly international dressage competition to North America, which he believes will put Americans on the fast-track to catching up with the Europeans.

 

“It takes a village to get this done. The Europeans just have a really big, organized village. I think that it takes the owners, and the riders, and everybody. It takes this kind of effort and this facility. It’s an incredible circuit. This [show] is going to be one of the things that propels us to being competitive with the Europeans. This is the village, right here,” Barisone concluded.

 

American Chris Hickey and Ronaldo Enjoy Top Finish in FEI Prix St. Georges

 

Chris Hickey (USA) and Ronaldo finished first in the FEI Prix St. Georges presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty on a score of 71.842%, followed by second place finishers Denielle Gallageher-Legrif (CAN) and Argo Conti Tyme with a score of 69.781%. Third place went to Shannon Dueck (CAN), who scored 69.561% aboard Cantaris.

 

Besides a few bobbles in the canter zig-zag and trot, Hickey was thrilled to see the eight-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding continue to flourish as the AGDF circuit comes to a close.

Chris Hickey and Ronaldo

“Ronaldo felt great. His tests are getting more and more solid,” Hickey said. “He’s a very big-moving, elastic horse, so it’s hard to keep everything together sometimes. He’s very immature for an eight-year-old, but I was very pleased with the test.”

 

Hickey was especially happy that Ronaldo’s owner, Cecelia Stewart, was able to attend the show, and even happier that she was able to see Ronaldo do so well. On top of that, the pair bested a field of 36 riders, making the win especially meaningful for Hickey.

 

“I think it’s great for the sport. At the end of the season, for the last CDI to be the biggest, is just wonderful,” Hickey commented. “I was really super happy with the results and how my horse went today.”

 

Ronaldo has been schooling all of the grand prix movements, but Hickey described him as far from ready to be competing at that level. He’ll continue at the small tour with Ronaldo to gain strength and confidence to develop the young horse’s talent. Hickey pointed out that Ronaldo shares a Don Schufro connection on his mother’s side with Paragon, Heather Blitz’s grand prix mount, and Hickey has noticed similarities between the two.

 

“He’s a big, gangly, young horse still in his body. He’s not a short, smaller, really well-muscled horse. He is also [related to] Don Schufro, which is what Paragon is. If you look at him as a young horse, he was always skinny looking. Ronaldo has a long way to get strong and develop at the grand prix before he can get out and do it,” Hickey explained.

 

Pedigree is important to Hickey, but he believes choosing a favorable bloodline is not based on talent alone. Ronaldo has also inherited his sire, Blu Hors Romanov, and dam sire Don Schufro’s remarkable temperament.

 

“For an FEI horse, being a fancy mover as a young horse is not what I want. I want a horse that is going to take the work and develop and get stronger and have the gaits become more expressive and flamboyant as the horse is trained. This horse has a super temperament and a super character and a willingness to work. He goes to work and does his job every day. To me, that’s also a huge piece of what the breeding is,” Hickey explained.

 

Hickey is excited to see what the future holds for Ronaldo, who he believes possesses all the features of a great FEI competitor. The pair will contest the FEI Intemediaire-1 and the FEI Intermediaire Freestyle of the AGDF 12 CDI 3*.

 

“Even though he’s expressive and flamboyant, his hind legs still do the right thing. He piaffes and passages at home unbelievably. You can fire him up and he’s amazing, and then you can fire him up and give him a long rein and he walks on the buckle, totally relaxed again,” Hickey concluded.

 

For full results and more information, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

 

Photo Credit: Photos © SusanJStickle.com. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.

 

Full Results for FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 5*, presented by Diamante Farms

Rider, Country, Horse, Breeding, Age: Judge E%, Hudge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total %

1 Tina Konyot, USA, Calecto V, 16-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion owned by rider, Bahera x Come Back II: 79.000%, 80.500%, 76.750%, 80.750%, 79.250%, 79.250%

 

2 Mikala Gundersen, DEN, My Lady, 14-year-old Danish Warmblood mare owned by Janne Rumbough, Marion x Michellino: 77.500%, 79.125%, 73.875%, 75.625%, 77.750% ,76.775%

 

3 Lars Petersen, DEN, Mariett, 16-year-old Danish Warmblood mare owned by Marcia M. Pepper, Zendi x Comeback II: 76.500%, 78.625%, 75.750%, 75.250%, 77.000%, 76.625%

 

4 Shelly Francis, USA, Doktor, 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Patricia Stempel, Gurena x Diamond Hit: 75.250%, 76.250%, 75.125%, 75.250%, 78.625%, 76.100%

 

5 Belinda Trussell, CAN, Anton, 14-year-old Sachsen gelding owned by Robyn Eames, Shirley x Anteaus: 74.740%, 76.500%, 72.625%, 74.875%, 76.000%, 74.950%

 

6 Catherine Haddad-Staller, USA, Mane Stream Hotmail, 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by rider, Rederna x Michellino: 71.625%, 74.500%, 74.500%, 76.125%, 75.250%, 74.400%

 

7 Carolina Roffman, USA, Her Highness O, 11-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by rider, Wild Lady O x Hohenstein: 73.125%, 74.375%, 73.750%, 74.125%, 73.625%, 73.800%

 

8 David Marcus, CAN, Chrevi’s Capital, 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Deborah Kinzinger-Miculinic, Indira Gandhi x Obelisk: 74.375%, 74.250%, 70.625%, 73.500%, 71.750%, 72.900%.

 

Full Results for FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3*, presented by Diamante Farms

Rider, Country, Horse, Breeding, Age: Judge E%, Hudge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total %

1 Megan Lane, CAN, Caravella, 13-year-old KWPN Mare owned by rider, P. Riviera x Contango: 71.750%, 71.500%, 69.875%, 73.250%, 71.625%, 71.600%

 

2 Laura Graves, USA, Verdades, 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by rider, Liwilarda x Florrett As: 67.125%, 70.750%, 71.500%, 70.250%, 71.625%, 70.250%

 

3 Gary Vaner Ploeg, CAN, Degas, 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Jean & Gary Vander Ploeg, Pretty Lady x Donnerhall: 68.750%, 68.750%, 66.375%, 69.000%, 68.875%, 68.350%

 

4 David Marcus, CAN, Don Kontes, 14-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding own by Deborah Kinzinger-Miculinic, Knotessa x Don Schufro: 64.520%, 68.375%, 67.625%, 68.500%, 69.375%, 67.625%

 

5 Silvia Rizzo, ITA, Sal, 15-year-old Lusitano stallion owned by Silvia Rizo & Hof Marabunta, Maia x Mississipe: 62.250%, 67.250%, 66.250%, 64.875%, 65.000% 65.125%

 

6 Joanne Vaughan, GEO, Prego, 17-year-old KWPN stallion owned by rider, Evelien x Zazou: 62.250%, 66.250%, 62.625%, 58.625%, 65.750%, 63.100%

 

7 Jose Luis Padilla Moreno, MEX, Donnersberg, 17-year-old Rheinlander gelding owned by rider, Cinderella x Don Primero: 64.375% 62.750%, 59.000%, 57.625%, 60.750%, 60.900%

 

Full Results for FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 5*, presented by Diamante Farms

Rider, Country, Horse, Breeding, Age: Judge E%, Hudge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total %

1 Adrienne Lyle, USA, Wizard, 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Peggy Thomas, Pica x Weltmeyer: 74.510%, 78.333%, 73.922%, 74.510%, 76.667%, 75.588%

 

2 Michael Barisone, USA, Ellegria, 13-year-old Westphalian mare owned by Lauren Sprieser, Patrizia x Ehrentanz I: 67.451%, 70.784%, 68.529%, 69.706%, 70.490%, 69.392%

 

3 Cesar Parra, USA, Van the Man, 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Michael Davis, Lady x Obelisk: 68.333%, 67.745%, 69.902%, 70.196%, 69.216%, 69.078%

 

4 Susan Dutta, USA, Currency DC, 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by rider, Cinderella x Clintino: 67.941%, 69.902%, 68.725%, 67.647%, 67.745%, 68.392%

 

5 Tom Dvorak, CAN, Viva’s Salieri W, 13-year-old Hanoverian stallion owned by Augustin Walse, Salinja x Viva Voltaire: 63.922% 65.490%, 68.333%, 66.863%, 66.863%, 66.294%

 

 

Full Results for the FEI Prix St. Georges, presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty

Rider, Country, Horse, Breeding, Age: Judge E%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Total%

1 Christopher Hickey, USA, Ronaldo, 8-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Cecelia Stewart, Trøstplund’s Scarlet x Blue Hors Romanov: 74.737%, 71.316%, 69.474%, 71.842%

 

2 Denielle Gallageher-Legrif, CAN, Argo Conti Tyme, 12-year-old Oldenburg Springfrede gelding owned by rider, Alina x Argentius: 69.605%, 68.158%, 71.579%, 69.781%

 

3 Shannon Dueck, CAN, Cantaris, 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Elizabeth Ferber, Egida x Complement: 68.684%, 70.132%, 69.868%, 69.561%

 

4 Christilot Boylen, CAN, Drentano, 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by rider, Brenda Lee x De Niro: 69.737%, 67.895%, 69.211%, 68.947%

 

5 Kasey Perry, USA, Goerklintgaards Dublet, 11-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Diane Perry, La Costa x Diamond Hit: 68.289%, 67.763%, 70.263%, 68.772%

 

6 Chris Von Martels CAN, Zilverstar, 10-year-old KWPN gelding owned by rider, Hutricia x Rosseau: 68.684%, 68.947%, 67.895%, 68.509%

 

7 Christlot Boylen, CAN, Florencia 22, eight-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Jill Irving, Walencia x Florencio I: 69.079%, 68.684%, 66.316%, 68.026%

 

8 Sara Spofford, USA, Lagrima, 12-year-old Wurttemberger mare by Lantnano owned by Doris Newcomb: 68.158%, 68.816%, 66.974%, 67.982%

About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) is one of the world’s largest international and national dressage circuits featuring 8 FEI Dressage events, including a 5* and the only FEI Nations’ Cup Series CDIO in the Western Hemisphere. The AGDF offers more than $400,000 in prize money for the six international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area for the International Arena fully catered for relaxing and having an enjoyable experience.

Please visit

www.globaldressagefestival.com

www.equestriansport.com

or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at

The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center

13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

Adrienne Lyle and Wizard Achieve Personal Best in AGDF 12 FEI Grand Prix CDI 5* : Ashley Holzer Guides Tiva Nana to First CDI Win in 3* Grand Prix

March 28, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Wellington, FL – March 27, 2014 – Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Wizard capped off the first day of competition for the final week of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) with a win in the FEI Grand Prix CDI 5* presented by Diamante Farms. The pair earned a personal best score for the grand prix with a 74.160%. Ashley Holzer (CAN) and Tiva Nana scored a blue ribbon finish earlier in the day, winning the FEI Grand Prix CDI 3* presented by Diamante Farms on a score of 70.000%. AGDF 12 is sponsored by Diamante Farms and Wellington Equestrian Realty. 

Friday, March 28, will see the return of “Friday Night Stars” to The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). The featured class, the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 5*, will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Friday evening. Young rider Bebe Davis will perform her own freestyle exhibition as part of the night’s festivities, and a vocal quartet accompanied by piano from the Frost School of Music at University of Miami will perform throughout the night.

 Watch Adrienne Lyle and Wizard's winning test in the FEI Grand Prix CDI 5*!
Watch Adrienne Lyle and Wizard’s winning test 
in the FEI Grand Prix CDI 5*!

Adrienne Lyle was also presented with the Champion Equine Insurance Dressage Style Award and a crystal horse from Swarovski for her win in the FEI Grand Prix 5*. The American rider topped the class with Wizard, a 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Peggy Thomas. Second place went to fellow American Tina Konyot and Calecto V for their score of 72.720%, while Danish rider Mikala Gundersen rounded out the top three with My Lady and a score of 72.520%.

 

Lyle was thrilled to post her all-time grand prix high score with Wizard in the on Thursday evening. A triumphant return to the ring was the best she could have asked for after having to withdraw Wizard from the AGDF 10 CDI W.

 

“I was thrilled with him. He felt fresh and happy and really amazing for being the end of a long season,” Lyle grinned. “That’s my best grand prix score I’ve had on him in our career, and I think the most rideable; the best combination of him having energy, and he was listening to me.”

Adrienne Lyle and Wizard

She continued, “It was a little nerve-wracking. We were entered for the [CDI] W [during AGDF 10] but he got himself cast in his stall. He came out with banged up legs the day before the jog. We made the decision to scratch and not try to get him through it since he wasn’t a hundred percent. It was hard to go home and sit out a couple of weeks. Everyone is wondering what’s wrong, and of course they always think it’s the worst and you’re never going to come back. So it was nice to come back and do really well.”

 

Lyle admitted to having a good feeling about their test, but insisted a rider can never really know when they’re going to have the “test of tests” before it’s over. Her main focus, and possibly the difference in their score, was the extended trot.

 

“I think he’s got a great, amazing, trot extension, but I think we lose a little balance. He gets a little tight, and we’ve done some skip steps a couple times. So we came in around the outside of the arena, and I really made him gallop around a couple times and got going. I felt like I was able to ride it, not to not have a mistake, but to have more power and really go for it and not feel like I was being conservative,” Lyle described.

 

Lyle will forgo the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 5* on Friday, opting instead to contest the FEI Grand Prix Special 5* in preparation for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) selection trials.

 

“I love doing the freestyle with him, but he just had a couple weeks off and he hasn’t been working that much before the show, I thought it would be smarter to put him in the special. He doesn’t need to get himself all hyped up again. I’ve done the freestyle the last two shows. I think I need to get back to focusing on the special a little for the trials,” Lyle explained.

 

Second place finisher Konyot is known for her jubilant expressions after a test with Calecto, but explained that her serious look on Thursday evening was not a reflection of the overall test.

 

“I was happy, actually. I’ve been trying to get a little bit cleaner grand prix. I’ve had several shows with so many mistakes in my grand prix, so I was much, much, happier with my grand prix,” Konyot said. “Until the end. He really cheated me at the end, he stopped very early and thought it was over. He did his final halt-salute and there was no budging. He just caught me a little bit by surprise because he can do a little bit further than that.”

 

Konyot pointed out her canter tour as the highlight of the test for her, along with a trot tour she thought was well done. With the FEI World Cup Dressage Finals next on her calendar, she was pleased to have achieved her main goal for the class.

 

“I felt great because I had a better grand prix. I often have quite a good freestyle, and since I am leading North America and going to the World Cup, I was happy that I could have a better grand prix. That was something that I was looking towards,” Konyot said.

 

Gundersen and My Lady have a different championship competition looming; their sights are set on the Danish Championships, an event Gundersen described as one with the most pressure of the season. The show plays a large role in choosing the Danish team for the WEG this fall.

 

Gundersen has been more than satisfied with how My Lady has progressed throughout the season in Wellington, describing her test on Friday evening as very rideable and supple.

 

“I could have had a little more energy from behind, but I had a lot of really good movements. There were some things that I worked very hard on, to get better, and they were. I look at my scores and see that they got better, and then I lost a bit on other things,” Gundersen shared.

 

“That’s how it is,” she continued. “You go to shows and you feel like ‘Oh I need to improve this,’ and then you go home and work on that. Maybe you lose something else a little bit on the way. I think in the end, we’ll get it all together. For me, it’s most important when I get to the Danish championships in the summer that it should all be there.”

 

On behalf of all the riders, Gundersen expressed her gratitude for the AGDF hosting a 5* event and thanked the sponsors of the show for their generosity.

 

“It’s amazing. I think this season, we’ve always had something to ride towards. Either World Cup points or the five star,” Gundersen pointed out. “It’s amazing to have all of this. For one, all the money that’s being sponsored in this class. And then, for us, we’re always thinking about world ranking points, and [a five star] counts a little extra there. So it’s a big deal.”

 

In only her second outing at the CDI level, Tiva Nana enjoyed a victory with Ashley Holzer earlier in the day during the FEI Grand Prix 3*. Holzer finished at the top of the class with a score of 70.000%, while American Laura Graves took second with Verdades on a score of 69.140%. Third place went to Megan Lane (CAN) and Caravella, who earned a score of 69.120%.

Ashley Holzer and Tiva Nana

Tiva Nana, a 14-year-old KWPN mare, has been owned by Marissa Mastranardi for the past five and a half years. When Mastranardi asked trainer Holzer to ride the mare in September, she handed the reins over to her full-time.

 

“Ashley started riding her in September, just her riding her, and it was going so well that I was like, ‘Take her! See what happens,'” Mastranardi recounted. “Obviously, having Ashley on her is the best thing for the horse and for her education. I’m more than thrilled with how it’s been going.”

 

Tiva Nana, known as “Nina” in the barn, has continued to step up to the plate as she has progressed up the levels. Thursday was only the horse’s second CDI and fourth time completing a grand prix test.

 

“She’s getting better and better every time. It’s really cool to watch,” Mastranardi smiled. “It wouldn’t happen without a rider like Ashley. If I was in there, I’d be like, ‘Oh, I know it’s scary!’ Ashley knows how to make adjustments and give her confidence in the ring.”

 

For Holzer, Thursday’s test, and subsequent win, was a pleasant surprise. “I thought that it was far more in control than the last week! I think that the harmony was much better. I thought her accuracy and her harmony were just really top-notch today. Her focus was better. As a horse, I felt like I had a partner that was really tuned into me.”

 

Holzer admitted she would have to rethink her plan after what the mare showed her in the ring. “I have to sit down and really rethink that after today. She really showed me something in this main ring. We thought she would take a much longer time to settle in this big ring,” Holzer acknowledged.

 

She continued, “She really has very little experience so this is quite a shocker. When they said to me in the barn today, ‘Ok so try to give a 70?’ and I was like ‘Pfft! Yeah right! Give me a break, I was pretty amazed with 68 last week.’ But she went in and was just a joy to ride. She’s so much fun. She’s a very nice horse to ride.”

 

Second place finisher Graves was thrilled with Verdades’ rideability throughout the test, noting that the pair have enjoyed great improvement over the last three months at the AGDF. She’s worked with Olympian Debbie MacDonald since the beginning of the circuit on various aspects of Verdades’ training.

 

“It’s gotten so much better since our first CDI. It’s a little sad that the season is over for us, because we’re kind of hungry for more and hitting our stride,” Graves explained.

 

Graves has her sights set on the Festival of Champions in Gladstone, NJ, which also serve as the selection trials for the American team to go to the WEG.

 

“We’ll spend the next two months really training hard, and hopefully, depending on how everything shakes out on the West Coast and who decides to go to Gladstone [New Jersey, for the Festival of Champions], we’re crossing our fingers that this might give us a ticket.”

 

Of her test today, Graves pointed out the biggest turning point for the test was the piaffe, which she admitted she had been going down centerline and “praying” to go well in each previous test.

 

“There’s nothing more terrifying than having to do something on a centerline and just having to go in there and praying. That’s pretty much all we’ve been doing, because he wouldn’t let me touch him,” Graves explained.

 

She continued, “He’s so worked up and he tries so hard, and you touch him with your legs or your hand, and he would just get all out of sorts. To be able to put my leg on a little, or actually ride a half-halt in the piaffe is kind of cool. Hopefully one day it will actually be a highlight for everyone to watch, so that’s where we’re going.”

 

Lane has also focused on progress at each competition with Caravella. The pair won the FEI Grand Prix Special during AGDF 1, and both rider and horse have benefitted from the experience of six CDIs over the course of the season.

 

“I think both her and I are relatively inexperienced, so the more we get out there, the better. Coming to Wellington, you can only get it here,” Lane pointed out.

 

She continued, “Progress is always in my mind, so with every show I look for progress in some area. Today, the piaffe-passage tour was definitely the highlight. Normally, that’s a little bit tricky.”

 

With Caravella, it’s just a matter of channeling her nervous energy into precise focus in the show ring. “Although she’s extremely talented, she gets a little nervous in the piaffe, which affects our transition to passage. Today, that was excellent. I was really happy with her,” Lane smiled.

 

Junior and Young Rider competition kicked off the first day of the AGDF 12 CDI 3*/5*. Paula Matute (ESP) earned top call in the FEI Junior Team aboard Firmamento Ymas with a score of 70.946%. In the Young Rider Team Prix St. Georges test, it was Laurence Tetreault (CAN) and Lowelas who emerged victorious. The pair earned a score of 68.860% for the first place prize.

 

In a special award of the night, Lars Petersen (DEN) was presented with the FEI Grand Prix Circuit Championship for his scores with Mariett. They had the highest cumulative of average scores competing at a minimum of four CDI competitions at the AGDF.

ESP’s Cora Causemann with Lars Petersen

Competition for the AGDF 12 CDI 3*/5*, presented by Diamante Farms and Wellington Equestrian Realty, will continue on Friday at 8:00 a.m. with the FEI Prix St. Georges. The FEI Grand Prix Special 5* will begin at approximately 3:30 p.m. and the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 3* will follow at approximately 4:45 p.m. The featured class of the week, the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 5*, will begin at 7:00 p.m. For more information and complete results, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

 

Full Results for the FEI Grand Prix 5*, presented by Diamante Farms

Rider, Country, Horse, Breeding, Age: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total %

1 Adrienne Lyle, USA, Wizard, 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Peggy Thomas, Pica x Weltmeyer: 72.300%, 76.200%, 74.200%, 71.900%, 76.200%, 74.160%

 

2 Tina Konyot, USA, Calecto V, 16-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion owned by rider, Bahera x Come Back II: 72.200%, 72.900%, 73.800%, 70.400%, 74.300%, 73.720%

 

3 Mikala Gundersen, DEN, My Lady, 14-year-old Danish Warmblood mare owned by Janne Rumbough, Marion x Michellino: 72.400%, 71.900%, 72.700%, 71.600%, 74.000%, 72.520%

 

4 Shelley Francis, USA, Doktor, 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Patricia Stempel, Gurena x Diamond Hit: 72.700%, 72.800%, 74.800%, 71.800%, 70.500%, 72.520%

 

5 Belinda Trussell, CAN, Anton, 14-year-old Sachsen gelding owned by Robyn Eames, Shirley x Anteaus: 71.000%, 74.700%, 73.100%, 71.500%, 70.000%, 72.060%

 

6 Cesar Parra, USA, Van the Man, 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Michael Davis, Lady x Obelisk: 70.700%, 69.000%, 72.300%, 70.100%, 72.500%, 70.920%

 

7 Lars Petersen, USA, Mariett, 16-year-old Danish Warmblood mare owned by Marcia M. Pepper, Zendi x Comeback II: 70.800%, 68.500%, 71.300%, 68.000%, 71.500%, 70.020%

 

8 David Marcus, CAN, Chrevi’s Capital, 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Deborah Kinzinger-Miculinic, Indira Gandhi x Obelisk: 69.300%, 70.500%, 71.700%, 69.000%, 69.000%, 69.900%

 

Full Results for the FEI Grand Prix 3*, presented by Diamante Farms

Rider, Country, Horse, Breeding, Age: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total %

1 Ashley Holzer, CAN, Tiva Nana, 14-year-old KWPN mare owned by Marissa Mastranardi, Nana Linda x De Kennedy Stoeterij: 71.000%, 69.200%, 69.200%, 70.500%, 70.100%, 70.000%

 

2 Laura Graves, USA, Verdades, 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by rider, Liwilarda x Florrett As: 69.900%, 70.600%, 64.300%, 71.300%, 69.600%, 69.140%

 

3 Megan Lane, CAN, Caravella, 13-year-old KWPN Mare owned by rider, P. Riviera x Contango: 68.800%, 69.400%, 66.700%, 71.100%, 69.600%, 69.120%

 

4 Christilot Boylen, CAN, Hudson 18, 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Jean & Gary van der Ploeg, Pretty Lady x Donnerhall: 68.300%, 67.000%, 67.400%, 69.000%, 69.000%, 68.140%

 

5 Kasey Perry, USA, Trøstplund’s Scarlet, 15-year-old Danish Warmblood mare owned by Diane Perry, Ramona x Blue Hors Don Shufro: 68.500%, 68.900%, 66.500%, 70.200%, 66.600%, 68.140%

 

6 Devon Kane, USA, Destiny, 11-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Diamante Farms, Rubenstein I x Diamond Hit: 67.000%, 67.800%, 67.400%, 69.500%, 68.800%, 68.100%

 

7 Lars Petersen, DEN, Willano, 12-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by rider, Aleksina x Willemoes: 67.300%, 67.300%, 65.100%, 66.600%, 68.900%, 67.040%

 

8 Jill Irving, CAN, Degas 12, 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by rider, Rosana M x De Niro: 66.600%, 66.400%, 64.500%, 65.600%, 65.700%, 65.760%

 

Photo Credit: Photos © SusanJStickle.com. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.

About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) is one of the world’s largest international and national dressage circuits featuring 8 FEI Dressage events, including a 5* and the only FEI Nations’ Cup Series CDIO in the Western Hemisphere. The AGDF offers more than $400,000 in prize money for the six international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area for the International Arena fully catered for relaxing and having an enjoyable experience.

Please visit

www.globaldressagefestival.com

www.equestriansport.com

or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at

The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center

13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

USG FlexiVest

March 19, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

KL Select’s mandate is to feature ‘only the best’, and in line with that philosophy, they now offer the Flexi Protective Vest, nicknamed the “bodyguard”, one of the newest developments from USG (United Sportsproducts Germany). Dorothea Carters, Managing Partner at KL Select, remarked that when researching body protectors, “We were appalled that many of the safety vests on the market today are not ASTM approved or tested, and to avoid that costly testing are marketed as ‘vests’ – which is misleading to the American rider”. As trend setters, we here at KL Select recognize that it is only a matter of time before ASTM-approved Body Protectors are mandatory in certain competitions.

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The Flexi vest offers the latest innovations in safety, comfort and fashion for riders. The vest meets the highest European safety standard – Level 3 EN 13158- 2009 and for US ASTM F1937-04, SEI approved. The ASTM Certification is a special production and only available in the USA. It has been proven and tested that wearing a body protector that is made of flexible parts, instead of one rigid form, gives the rider a wide range of motion and agility. The Flexi vest fits the rider like a second skin and does not hinder the rider or their performance in any way. The “USG Flexi” is ergonomically cut, fits every body shape and is very light. The cover material is stain–resistant and to clean the vest, simply wipe with a damp clean cloth. The hook and loop fasteners at the waist and shoulder allow for a perfect fit every time. A fashionable and functional cover with bow is included. “USG Flexi” is available in black for kids M – XL and adults in sizes S – XL. It is light and comfortable to wear providing much needed protection.”

MSRP is $238 (Adult) & ($219) Children
Contact KL Select info@klselect.com or 860 437 7232 (9 to 5 EST)

Sidelines TV Filming Live at India Night This Thursday!

March 12, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

 

Wellington, FL – March 11, 2014 – Guests at this Thursday’s India Night could get their 15

minutes of fame thanks to Sidelines TV.

The online television channel will be filming a segment at the inaugural event to be

held Thursday, March 13, 2014 at the International

Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC).

 

India Night kicks off with an open bar, Indian cuisine, live music and Bollywood dancers at 7 p.m.
at the 7th Chukker Restaurant and Veranda at IPC.All proceeds from the night go to benefit the Salvation Tree School, a school that has

already had a phenomenal, positive impact on the lives of children in India.

The school is supported by the Salvation Tree Foundation, a recognized non-profit

founded by Wellington, FL residents Timmy and Laurie Sharma and funded through

a percentage of the sales of popular equestrian brands TuffRider, Equine Couture and Henri De Rivel. Through the foundation

and the Salvation Tree School, the three brands are able to provide the children of their employees in India with an entirely

free education, including books, supplies, mid-day meals, transportation and uniforms unlike anything they could otherwise receive.

 

The education that the children receive through the Salvation Tree School is unlike anything that would otherwise be possible. Now the importance of that education is taking center stage at India Night in Wellington, FL – and around the world, thanks to Sidelines TV.

Laurie and Timmy Sharma at the Salvation Tree School in India.

When the idea of India Night was announced, the meaning and charity behind the event caught the attention of Sidelines TV producer Robert Jordan.

 

“It is really nice to be able to communicate with the Sidelines audience, many of whom will never come close to the equestrian wonder that is Wellington, that horse lovers here, like everywhere, are a very generous and caring lot,” Jordan commented.

 

Joining Jordan in the filming and production of India Night coverage is Manohardeep Singh Josan. Singh Josan was born and raised in the Punjab region of India, and he has since gone on to earn his Ph.D. from the University of Florida. In addition to working as a soil and water scientist, Singh Josan is actively working to dispel negative stereotypes about India and its culture.

Robert Jordan conducting an interview for Sidelines TV. The TV channel provides behind-the-scenes equestrian interviews and coverage.

“We hope to produce a piece in the Hindi language to reach native speakers worldwide and bring awareness to what a wonderful thing the Sharmas are doing,” Jordan said.

 

Show your support of the Salvation Tree School and plan to ‘party with a purpose’ by purchasing your tickets online at www.indianight.orgRemaining ticket space is extremely limited, so purchase today!

 

Ticket price includes an open bar, gourmet cuisine, an Indian bazaar, Bollywood dancers, authentic Indian musicians, a Bollywood DJ and dancing.

 

Find out more about the Salvation Tree Foundation by visiting www.SalvationTree.org. For additional information on Sidelines TV visit www.sidelinesnews.com.

 

 

India Night 2014 Fast Facts:

 

What: A party with a purpose! Take a journey into the sights, sounds and tastes of India, all in support of the Salvation Tree School. The evening will include Indian cuisine, Bollywood dancers, and Indian bazaar and authentic Indian Musicians.

 

When: Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 7 p.m.

 

Where: The 7th Chukker Restaurant and Veranda at the International Polo Club Palm Beach

 

Why: To aid the Salvation Tree Foundation in funding expansions to the Salvation Tree School infrastructure necessary to meet the needs of the students as the Salvation Tree School continues to grow! The school provides impoverished children in India with an entirely free education, including books, supplies, mid-day meals, transportation and uniforms unlike anything they could otherwise receive.

 

Tickets: Purchase tickets or find out more information one of three ways:

–       Online at www.IndiaNight.org

–       By email at info@indianight.org

–       By calling (561)254-0406

Audi Defeats Coca-Cola In Emotional Game; Plays Flight Options For Les Armour Cup On Sunday

March 04, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Audi’s Gonzalo del Tour (2) stretches for the ball against defender Facundo Obregon (4) of Coca-Cola. Photo by Scott Fisher

WELLINGTON, FL-Feb. 28, 2014-—In an emotionally-charged game, Audi defeated Coca-Cola, 12-9, Thursday to advance into the championship final of the Les Armour Cup.

The noon game on Sunday will pit Grand Champions Polo Club-based pro teams Audi and Flight Options on Field 2 at International Polo Club.

Flight Options advanced with a thrilling 8-7 overtime victory over Lechuza Caracas on Alejandro Astrada’s 60-yard goal from the field with less than four minutes left in overtime.

Audi (Marc Ganzi, Gonzalo del Tour, Gonzalito Pieres, Rodrigo Andrade) and Coca-Cola (Gillian Johnston, Sebastian Merlos, Julio Arellano, Facundo Obregon) players wore black arm bands in honor of polo great Carlos Gracida.

Gracida, 53, a player and coach for Audi, died earlier in the week from head injuries sustained in an accident during a game at Everglades Polo Club. Flags in the stadium flew at half-staff.

Audi team captain Marc Ganzi (1) defends Julio Arellano (3) of Coca-Cola. 
Photo by Scott Fisher

“Carlos was my teammate and my coach,” Audi captain Marc Ganzi said. “I hope today was a demonstration of our gratitude for him as a player and friend.

“It was really satisfying to be able to win for him,” Ganzi said. “Hopefully, we honored his memory today.”

Ganzi said during the game he tried to think of the “little things” that Gracida would tell him.

“He always used to tell me breathe going to goal,” Ganzi said with a smile. “Stupid things that would make me laugh. Sometimes you remember those things.”

Audi team captain Marc Ganzi (1) reaches for the ball in the air and drives downfield for one of his four goals of the game. Photo by Scott Fisher

An inspired Ganzi turned in one of his finest all-around games, scoring four goals and playing well defensively. Pieres led the team with six goals. Andrade added two goals and was outstanding on defense.

“I am happy we won, but it is difficult to say happy,” said Pieres, one of the world’s six 10-goal rated players. “It’s been a sad two days and it’s going to be a sad season because one of the greatest players ever is gone.”

Obregon led scoring for Coca-Cola with six goals. Johnston, Arellano and Merlos each scored one goal.

Despite Coca-Cola defenders Sebastian Merlos (2) and Facundo Obregon (4), Audi’s Rodrigo Andrade (4) leans out of the saddle to maintain possession of the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

Audi dominated most of the game. After a 1-1 opening chukker, Audi pulled away for a 5-2 lead in the second chukker behind balanced teamwork (Pieres two goals, Ganzi one goal, Andrade one goal).

Coca-Cola reeled Audi back in for a 5-5 tie late in the third chukker after taking advantage of two Audi missed goals and penalty. Del Tour connected with Ganzi on a well-placed pass downfield to enable Ganzi to score with a minute left for a 6-5 halftime lead.

Audi’s Rodrigo Andrade (4) avoids the hook of Coca-Cola’s Julio Arellano (3). Photo by Scott Fisher

“I am happy that we won and we played good,” said Pieres, whose father Gonzalo Pieres Sr., an Argentine polo great, watched from the sidelines. “I think Marc had a great game and some great goals.

“Today felt better,” Pieres said. “The last game was really tough against Valiente where we started bad, but finished good. Today we started good. Our team ran well, we had velocity. It was a good game for us.”

In the second half, it was all Audi keeping a two or three-goal cushion lead to finish out the game.

Rodrigo Andrade (4) of Audi races downfield for one of his two goals of the game with teammate Gonzalo del Tour helping on defense. Photo by Scott Fisher

“We played really clean, really open,” Ganzi said. “We made very few mistakes. This is what we envisioned for the season. If we can spread the field and open the game up like we did today, we are going to be very, very difficult to beat.

“Today was a lot of fun,” Ganzi said. “Carlos would have enjoyed today’s game, open fun polo with all four players hitting the ball. Carlos always preached that-you’re always stronger as four than three.”

On Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., Gracida will be remembered by family and friends during a celebration of Gracida’s life at IPC’s 7th Chukker Lounge patio.

The Les Armour Cup is the subsidiary tournament of the C.V. Whitney Cup which will feature Orchard Hill and Valiente in the Sunday final at 3.

For game recaps, news, features and photos of Grand Champions Polo Club-related events, go towww.grandchampionspoloclub.org. Game video can also be seen at PoloNow Network athttp://www.polonow.tv/.

Audi’s Rodrigo Andrade (4) shakes the hand of Coca-Cola’s Julio Arellano (3) after the well-played game. Photo by Scott Fisher

2014 HIGH GOAL SEASON

SUNDAY: Les Armour Cup, Audi vs. Flight Options, noon; C.V. Whitney Cup, Orchard Hill vs. Valiente, 3 p.m.

FEBRUARY 28-MARCH 8: Iglehart Cup-MARCH 5, Semifinals 1, 3 p.m.; MARCH 8, Final, 1 p.m.

MARCH 5-23: USPA Piaget Gold Cup-MARCH 7, Alegria vs. Flight Options, 3 p.m.; MARCH 8, Audi vs. Orchard Hill, 10 a.m.; MARCH 13, Audi vs. Flight Options, 3 p.m.; MARCH 16, Orchard Hill vs. Flight Options, noon; Audi vs. Alegria, 3 p.m.; MARCH 19, Semifinals, 1, 3 p.m.; MARCH 20, Butler Handicap Semifinals, 1, 3 p.m.; MARCH 23, Butler Handicap Final, noon; USPA Piaget Gold Cup Final, 3 p.m.

MARCH 26-APRIL 20: 110th Maserati U.S. Open Polo Championships

GRAND CHAMPIONS @ PALM BEACH POLO 2014 TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE (HOTLINE 561-373-0073)

MARCH: Madelon Bourdieu Memorial (5 goals); The Limited Edition 8-Goal Series; USPA Regional President’s Cup (8 goals); $50,000 National 12-Goal Tournament; The Top Pony 12-Goal Series; Santa Rita Abierto (16 goals).

APRIL: Las Acacias (5 goals); USPA Association Cup (8 goals); Museum of Polo & Hall of Fame Challenge Cup (12-goals); John T. Oxley Memorial Trophy (16 goals).

THIS WEEK’S GRAND CHAMPIONS AT PB POLO SCHEDULE

SATURDAY: 12-goal, USPA Sieber Memorial Trophy Final, Catamount vs. Palm Beach Equine, Field 8, 9:45 a.m.; 5-goal, Halo Polo Trophy Final, Series B, Alianos Realty vs. SLS Jets, Field 10, 11:30 a.m.; USPA Sieber Memorial Trophy Handicap Final, Pony Express vs. Goose Creek, Field 2, 4 p.m.

SUNDAY: 5-goal, Elegante/Tuffrider at Patagones, 10 a.m.; 8-goal, USPA Cyril Harrison Trophy Final, Cypress Field, 11 a.m.; 5-goal, Custer Capital/Ganaraska at Patagonez Azul, noon.

GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB SCHEDULE (561-644-5050)

MARCH 9: Great Futures Celebrity Polo Match, 10 a.m., benefitting the Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington.

MARCH 17: Buzz Welker Memorial Tournament

APRIL 4-5: Fifth annual Gay Polo League International Tournament

APRIL 8-12: Women’s Championship Tournament

GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB

WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.

INFORMATION: There are great field side views for tournament action at the home base of pro teams Audi and Flight Options. Everyone is welcome to watch high, medium and low goal polo in a relaxed atmosphere during the winter, spring and fall tournament season and other special events including International Cup in November, Buzz Welker Memorial Junior Tournament in March, ProKidz Tournaments in the spring and fall, Women’s Championship Tournament and Gay Polo League International Tournament, both in April.

Team Canada Wins $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Presented by G&C Farm

March 01, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Alexander Zetterman and Canora Fly to Victory in
$10,000 G&C Farm Speed Stake; Ali Tritschler Tops Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search

 

For Immediate Release

Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Wellington, FL – February 28, 2014 – The Canadian team of Yann Candele, Tiffany Foster, Eric Lamaze, and Ian Millar earned victory in Friday night’s $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ presented by G&C Farm, at the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) in Wellington, FL. Teams representing 12 different countries participated in the evening’s competition with a win for Team Canada over Great Britain in second and USA in third.
FTI WEF week eight, sponsored by G&C Farm, runs through March 2, 2014, featuring CSIO 4* show jumping and a full schedule of ‘AA’ hunter and equitation events. Saturday’s competition will feature the Hollow Creek Farm Children’s, Junior and Young Riders FEI Nations’ Cup team events as well as a $34,000 G&C Farm 1.45m and a $25,000 Nutrena Jumper Classic. The week will conclude on Sunday with a $25,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic and the $150,000 CSIO 4* Grand Prix, presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty.

Team Canada’s winning presentation with Equestrian Sport Productions’ CEO Mark Bellissimo, and Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal of G&C Farm

Friday night’s Nations Cup competition consisted of two rounds shown over a demanding course set by USA’s Steve Stephens. Teams of four represented the nations of Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Mexico, USA, and Venezuela. Chile, Israel, and New Zealand were also represented with three riders each.
In the second round, the top eight teams returned in order of highest to lowest total faults. The winner was determined by the lowest total of each team’s top three riders from each round.
The winning Canadian team consisted of Yann Candele and the Watermark Group’s Showgirl, Tiffany Foster and Artisan Farms LLC and Torrey Pines’ Victor, Ian Millar aboard Ariel and Susan Grange’s Dixson, and Eric Lamaze riding Artisan Farms LLC’s Powerplay, led by Chef d’Equipe Mark Laskin.

In round one, Candele, Millar and Lamaze all jumped clear rounds, dropping Foster’s score of four to head into round two on zero. In the second round, Candele jumped another clear round and Millar and Foster each had four faults. The team had secured the victory, finishing on eight faults total, and Lamaze did not have to return for a second round.

Yann Candele and Showgirl

Following their victory, Canadian Chef d’Equipe Mark Laskin was very happy with the evening’s result and praised his horses and riders.

“In Canada, it’s always a good team feeling!” Laskin stated. “We have a great group; we always have. Somehow they always come together to get the job done. Canada has been on a bit of a roll. First it was curling, and then women’s bobsled, then it was hockey, and now it’s show jumping!”

“I want to welcome Yann Candele back to our team. I am really happy to have him, especially tonight,” Laskin added. “I think that’s a key for Canada right now. We have four fantastic riders with four fantastic horses, and they did an incredible job tonight.”

Showgirl, a 14-year-old Selle Francais mare by Gold De Becourt x Elf III, is a new mount for Candele and he spoke about how teammate Eric Lamaze helped him get the ride.
“For me, it’s just a new group that Eric put together. We were in Barcelona for the final last year, and Eric was thinking already about WEG (World Equestrian Games). He looked at that mare and approached the owner to be able to acquire it for me because Eric is not selfish and he’s all about the team,” Candele noted. “He put a group together of Canadian and American owners to be able to have that mare compete for Canada under me. I think all the success of today is all about Eric and his team spirit as well as Captain (Millar) and Tiffany. We are solid as it can be. That is the end result we had today, and we are going to try to keep going for bigger and bigger events.”

Ian Millar and Dixson
“Captain Canada” Ian Millar is forming a great partnership with his mount Dixson, an eleven-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Vigo d’Arsouilles x Olisco, and was happy with his horse’s performance.

“I’ve had him for a year, and he is coming along extremely well,” Millar stated. “I am looking to include him in the next cycle for the World Equestrian Games, Pan American Games and Olympics, so it is a very long term plan for him.”

“I was very pleased with him today,” Millar continued. “His progress is great. He just gets better and better. He is the right age; he’s a young horse and he has his whole life and his whole future ahead of him, and I’m very proud to have him.”

Tiffany Foster and Victor
Foster commented on the evening with Victor, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding by Elmshorn x Grandeur, and that she has had great success with this year. “I’m really excited about winning this tonight,” Foster said. “I thought my horse jumped really well. The first round he was a little bit unsettled. He got a little bit rushed in a few places, but the second round he came back really well and I was very happy with him.”

Powerplay, a ten-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Casall x Limbus, jumped a great first round with Lamaze and was rewarded with the team’s success by not having to return for a second trip. Lamaze spoke about his night as well.

“For us it is a fantastic evening,” Lamaze expressed. “My horse jumped very well, and I had the pleasure to ride with many great riders on the Canadian team. No one but this young man next to me (Millar) has ridden so much for our nation. We take it very seriously, and we pull together with results like tonight.”

Eric Lamaze and Powerplay
The team from Great Britain finished second on Friday with rides from Ben Maher and Tatiana Korsakova’s Diva II, Tim Gredley and Unex Competition Yard’s Unex Chamberlain Z, Gemma Paternoster and her own and Julia Harrison Lee’s Osiris, and Scott Brash aboard Lord and Lady Harris/Lord and Lady Kirkham’s Hello Annie, headed by Chef d’Equipe Rob Hoekstra.

Maher and Diva II had four faults in each round, Gredley and Unex Chamberlain Z jumped double clear rounds, Gemma Paternoster and Osiris had one time fault in round one and nine faults in round two, and Scott Brash and Hello Annie finished with nine faults in round one and jumped clear in the second round. The team finished on nine faults total.

Team USA finished third with 12 faults overall with their team made up of McLain Ward and Sagamore Farms’ Rothchild, Brianne Goutal and Remarkable Farms LP’s Nice de Prissey, Laura Kraut and Cherry Knoll Farm Inc.’s Cedric, and Beezie Madden riding Abigail Wexner’s Simon, all under the guidance of Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland.

Ward and Kraut both jumped clear in round one while Goutal and Madden each had four faults. In round two, Ward finished on eight, Goutal and Kraut each incurred four faults, and Madden returned with a clear round.

Beezie Madden and Simon
Ridland spoke to the result of his team Friday night, stating, “For us, last year was probably more fun, but it is a long-standing, competitive relationship between our two countries (U.S. and Canada). I seem to remember a jump-off for a gold and silver in a pretty recent Olympics. For tonight, we had some of those Olympians with us, all of whom jumped clean rounds. We felt that we were in it until the very end. It was just a rail here and a rub there. Brianne of course was our young rider. She got a tremendous amount of experience tonight under big pressure.”

“This to me is now maturing into a real Nations Cup,” Ridland acknowledged. “You are seeing real pressure out here. This is a Nations Cup we can be very proud of in this country, and it is only going to get better. That was a tough competition, 12 countries, and it has matured.”

Beezie Madden also spoke about the evening and her rounds with Simon, stating, “I was happy with my horse today. I wish I had been clear the first round because he went beautifully, but he came back and went even better in the second round. Hats off to the Canadians. They did a great job. It was fantastic sport today, and thank you to G&C Farm, Furusiyya, and Equestrian Sport Productions. You all did a great job today.”

The other top teams included Brazil and Ireland tied for fourth, Venezuela in sixth, Colombia in seventh, and Germany in eighth. The teams from Mexico, New Zealand, Chile and Israel did not return for the second round. Mexico finished ninth, New Zealand tenth, Chile eleventh, and Israel twelfth.
In addition to Yann Candele and Showgirl for Canada, the competition saw double clear rounds from Brazil’s Alvaro de Miranda and AD Uutje as well as Great Britain’s Tim Gredley and Unex Chamberlain Z.

Tim Gredley and Unex Chamberlain Z
The 2013 season brought the introduction of a new formula for the FEI Nations Cup™. Following a new sponsorship deal with the Saudi Equestrian Fund, this historic series is now known as the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™. Under the new rules, the world has been divided into six regions for the purpose of qualifying teams for a World Final. The six regions are Europe 1 and 2, North America, South America, Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Representing the FEI, John Madden congratulated the Canadian team on their win and praised the competition as a whole. “We saw fantastic sport here today,” Madden stated. “The Nations Cup is truly a very important part of our sport. It is very important to our Olympic endeavor. It takes a lot of people to put that together, and I’d like to thank Gustavo Mirabal and G&C Farm for presenting this, and of course we have to thank Furusiyya for their wisdom and support for this Nations Cup Series throughout the world. Thank you very much to Mark Bellissimo and all of your people and staff that put on a truly excellent night.”

“I think the United States can be very proud to host part of this series,” Madden said. “On behalf of the FEI, thank you to HH Prince Faisal Al Shalan of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Furusiyya, G&C Farm, and the state of Florida. Wellington is really a welcoming place and this is a really excellent venue.”

Nations Cup Team Photo

Final Results: $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ presented by G&C Farm

Alexander Zetterman and Canora Fly to Victory in $10,000 G&C Farm Speed Stake

G&C Farm’s $10,000 Speed Stake was held on Friday with a win for Sweden’s Alexander Zetterman and Canora. Steve Stephens set a difficult track for Friday’s competitors that yielded four clear rounds out of 22 entries. Zetterman was the first entry to clear the course with Canora in a time of 67.11 seconds that would hold on for the win. Last to go, Ian Millar (CAN) and The Baranus Group’s Baranus finished second in 68.90 seconds.

Chile’s Carlos Milthaler finished third in 71.11 seconds aboard Santana Stables LLC’s Calvano v/h Harteveld Z. Irleand’s Paul O’Shea and Gotham Enterprizes LLC’s River Dance Semilly placed fourth in 72.43 seconds.

Alexander Zetterman and Canora

Zetterman has had Canora, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblod mare (Baloubet du Rouet x Renville), since September of 2011. He explained that the fiery chestnut is always fast and in it to win.

“She’s a superstar,” he declared. “She has the exact right mentality. She always knows what she needs to do when she is in the ring. She is not always the best one to ride at home, but she knows exactly when she needs to be clear. She is a very fast mover; not the biggest stride, but very fast. You can go kind of normal fast and still have a very good time, so that is very good to have.”

“She doesn’t like to be patted all that much,” Zetterman described. “She likes sweets, but she doesn’t like patting and a lot of attention. She likes to do her own thing, and nobody is allowed to touch her really. When she has a bad round she is angry, so she knows exactly what it’s about. She is very much a competitor.”

Commenting on the day’s class, Zetterman noted, “I thought the course was tricky. It was not like you could go crazy galloping. You had to be careful a little bit everywhere, and if you took one risk at one place, then you kind of got it in another place in the course. I kind of figured that out when I walked the course already. Luckily I have a horse who moves really quick, so even if I stay on a steady stride, I am traveling quite a bit. It was good for me because I could do all of the technical stuff in peace and quiet, and she still covered the ground. We made a couple of turns, and then I just try not to pull too much, and she always has a very good time.”

Alexander Zetterman and Canora in their winning presentation

“She is getting better and better for every year,” Zetterman added. “She is getting stronger and every now and then, I try to to do 1.45m speed classes with her. She wins most money like that and I think she is going to stay sound and healthy for a longer time if I keep her at this level where she is comfortable and try not to push her too hard. She is a good mare and she is hopefully going to be going for many years more.”
Also showing in the International Arena on Friday, Laura Chapot and Bradberry earned a victory in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge.

Final Results: $10,000 G&C Farm Speed Stake CSIO

1. CANORA: 2002 Belgian Warmblood mare by Baloubet du Rouet x Renville
ALEXANDER ZETTERMAN (SWE), Alexander Zetterman: 0/67.11

2. BARANUS: 2003 Oldenburg gelding by Balou du Rouet x Centauer Z
IAN MILLAR (CAN), The Baranus Group: 0/68.90  

3. CALVANO VH HARTEVELD Z: 2005 Zangersheide stallion by Calvaro Z x Nabab de Reve

CARLOS MILTHALER (CHI), Santana Stables LLC: 0/71.11

4. RIVER DANCE SEMILLY: 2005 Selle Francais stallion by Kalaska de Semilly x Ulior des Isles

PAUL O’SHEA (IRL), Gotham Enterprizes, LLC: 0/72.43

5. SI BELLA: 2006 Selle Francais mare by Diamant de Semilly x Digne Espoir

ADAM PRUDENT (FRA), Henri Prudent: 4/68.43

6. APPLE: 2004 BWP mare by Diamant de Semilly x Carnutte

JUAN ORTIZ (VEN), Sarah Bagworth: 4/68.52

7. CON CHILLI: 2005 Holsteiner mare by Con Air x Heraldik xx

DAVID WILL (GER), Sevil Sabanci: 4/71.25

8. AHAVEROS: 2005 KWPN by Hemmingway x Pierrot

HENRIK GUNDERSEN (DEN), Henrik Gundersen: 4/71.73

9. ECKHAM VAN HET STEENTJE: 2004 BWP gelding by Berlin x Kannan

MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Elm Rock LLC: 4/73.45

10. TIZIMIN LA SILLA: 2006 La Silla gelding by Tlaloc La Silla x Polydor
SANTIAGO DIAZ (COL), Santiago Diaz: 4/73.51

11. BARRON: 2004 Swedish Warmblood gelding by For Pleasure x Nabab de Reve

LUCY DAVIS (USA), Old Oak Farm: 4/88.01

12. DIAMONTE DARCO: 2005 Great Britain Sport Horse mare by Unbelievable Darco x Unknown

WILTON PORTER (USA), Sleepy P Ranch LLC: 6/80.81

Ali Tritschler Tops Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search at FTI WEF

Sixteen-year-old Ali Tritschler of Southport, CT, and her own Helio Rouge bested a field of 42 riders in the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search on Friday morning at the FTI WEF. Tritschler and Helio Rouge were called back on top of the order to test on the flat before ultimately winning the class. Victoria Colvin and Stallone VDL were second and Megan MacPherson rounded out the top three with Class Action.

Tritschler acquired Helio Rouge, known as “Ranger” in the barn, last November and the pair have quickly formed a solid relationship.

Ali Tritschler and Helio Rouge

“He’s a lot different than my other horse. He’s pretty straight-forward and he’s very trusting, so it wasn’t too hard [to get used to him],” Tritschler explained. “They both have a really big stride, but [Ranger’s] is slow and big, and he also carries himself really well. With my other horse, you have to create yourself a little bit more. [Ranger also] jumps really well, but he doesn’t jump hard.”

Tritschler was thrilled to win in such good company, beating out many of the country’s top equitation riders on her way to the blue ribbon finish.

“It’s exciting. I needed my win in this class to qualify, so that was exciting. It’s really cool to show against [riders] like Victoria Colvin, Megan MacPherson, and Kelli Cruciotti. They’re all really good, so it’s exciting when you win. It makes you feel like you’re doing something right!” Tritschler smiled.

Ali Tritschler and Helio Rouge in their winning presentation

Tritschler described her round Friday with Ranger as one of the best trips they’ve had after suffering from minor mistakes in several of her previous rounds. She looks forward to making a go at year-end finals for the Platinum Performance USEF Talent Search, especially with a veteran mount like Ranger.

“I qualified last year, but I didn’t end up going because I was qualified in all the other finals. We didn’t end up going because we figured this one was the lowest priority since you can show in it for so much longer and it’s just so hard. We saved my horse,” Tritschler detailed.

She continued, “I really, really, want to go this year. I was going to show my jumper in it last year, but we didn’t want to stress her out. I’m excited to go because Ranger has done it the past two years. It’s fun for him; he loves it.”

Tritschler enjoys the equitation because of its focus on each individual rider’s ability, and also welcomes the extra challenge uniquely presented by the Talent Search.

“Not only are the courses harder and the jumps are spookier, but you also have the open water. For a lot of people that’s hard and a lot of horses don’t like it, but Ranger doesn’t care. It’s kind of nice to have a horse that really doesn’t care [about the more difficult jumps], so then I can relax. It’s definitely one of the smaller classes [because it’s so much more difficult],” she commented.

Tritschler, who trains with Norfield Farms’ Molly Ashe-Cawley, Chris Cawley, and Timmy Kees, is grateful to have the opportunity to learn from quality horsemen, particularly Ashe-Cawley.

“[I look up to] Molly. She’s always so positive. It’s never the horse’s fault, and she always puts the horse first. She’s very good at never being a bad sport, and she’s a really good rider,” Tritschler concluded.

Hunter competition continues on Saturday morning with the Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter 3’3″ division in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring. For full results, please visitwww.showgroundslive.com.
Photo Credit: Photos © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com, An Official Photographer of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.

 About FTI Consulting, Inc.   

  

FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,100 employees located in 25 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.58 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2012.    

For more information, visit www.fticonsulting.com and connect with us on Twitter (@FTIConsulting), Facebook, and LinkedIn.  

 


About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival    


The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 8 through March 30. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and $8 million in prize money will be awarded. 


Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Audi Wins George Haas Cup; Nic Roldan Named Most Valuable Player

February 27, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

George Haas Cup champions Fred Mannix, Nic Roldan, Lucas Lalor, Grant Ganzi of Audi. Photo by Scott Fisher

WELLINGTON, FL-Feb. 24, 2014—Audi won its first polo tournament of the 2014 high goal polo season on Sunday at International Polo Club.

Audi, one of the winningest teams steeped in tradition, captured the George Haas Cup with an 11-9 victory over Faraway.

Audi (Grant Ganzi, Lucas Lalor, Nic Roldan, Fred Mannix) dominated most of the game against Faraway (Hutton Goodman, Martin Pepa, Santiago Chavanne, Mariano Gonzalez).

Audi took the lead (5-3) in the second chukker and never relinquished it for the remainder of the game.

Roldan was named Most Valuable Player after scoring eight goals and playing well on both ends of the field. Lalor and Mannix each scored one goal and the team picked up another goal on handicap.

Most Valuable Player Nic Roldan of Audi. Photo by Scott Fisher

“We stuck to our same routine, hitting the ball and playing the simplest possible, wide-open polo using all four players and it worked,” Roldan said. “We were very solid on defense. We didn’t give them any goals. We made them work for their goals. We stuck to the plan and had a blast.

“For me, I thought Lucas deserved MVP, he played amazing,” Roldan said. “A lot of people out there really don’t realize it, but when you are on the field, defensively he played amazing. He is a great player.”

The game also marked the 20-goal IPC tournament debut of Ganzi, 15, a sophomore at St. Andrew’s in Boca Raton. It was a memorable game for Ganzi, one of the youngest player-patrons in the U.S. to win a 20-goal tournament.

Audi’s Grant Ganzi (1) defending Faraway’s Hutton Goodman (1).
Photo by Scott Fisher

“I woke up pretty early this morning,” said the third-generation polo player. “I was kind of nervous because this was my first 20-goal game at IPC. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know how fast everything was going to be because I’ve never played anything like this in my life.

“I’m very happy. The team played well, my first cup at IPC, I can’t complain. It was a good win.”

Ganzi’s father Marc helped Audi qualify with a semifinal victory over Tonkawa. He sat out the final to enable his son, who regularly competes for Casablanca, to play in preparation for Friday’s Iglehart Cup opener.

Team Audi with Marc and Melissa Ganzi, Fred Mannix Sr., Li-Anne Mannix, Fred Mannix and wife Kelsey and daughter Brooklyn. 
Photo courtesy of Melissa Ganzi.

“It’s a great advantage being this young playing at this level,” Ganzi said. “I am playing with all these good players and they are great role models and telling me what to do on the field. It’s going to take me to the next level.

“Not every kid has this opportunity and I am very thankful,” Ganzi said. “Faraway played well. I don’t think they saw me as a patron, they saw me as a young player and treated me with respect and I appreciate that.”

His parents, Marc and Melissa, both avid polo players and owners of Grand Champions Polo Club, watched their son from the sidelines. His mom called the game “nervewracking.”

“My dad gave me advice before the game,” Ganzi said. “He told me what to do on knock-ins and to stay on the man, always hit backhanders and hit the ball once instead of so many touches.”

Audi MVP Nic Roldan (3) drives downfield for one of this eight goals.
Photo by Scott Fisher

Veteran players Roldan and Mannix smiled at the thought of remembering when they were 15 and playing polo. Roldan was the youngest player to win the U.S. Open at 15.

“This is huge for Grant, he played great,” Roldan said. “He didn’t make any mistakes. He hit a couple of good balls and back shots. When you’re young you want to go out there and have fun and I think Grant did that.

“If you want to succeed in polo the only way is to start young and play good polo at the 16, 18, 20-goal level,” Roldan added. “The more polo these kids play the better they are going to improve.”

Audi’s Fred Mannix (4) battles for ball possession. Photo by Scott Fisher

Mannix was playing at El Dorado Polo Club when he was 15.

“They had an 18-goal tournament going on there and I was actually playing with Mariano Gonzalez, my good friend Daniel Roenisch and Graham Bray,” Mannix said. “I think I had three goals. We had an awesome team. I remember playing against some great players.

“Obviously, Grant is the new generation coming along,” Mannix said. “I thought he played awesome today. On the field he knows where to be, he’s got the good positioning. We are trying to help him more with the fundamentals of how to be more effective on the field, but he’s a natural. He picks it up with one suggestion, he knows what to do.”

Faraway staged a late rally in the fifth chukker but was turned away by Audi.

Audi’s Fred Mannix (4) works the ball out of the air with Faraway’s Santiago Chavanne defending. Photo by Scott Fisher

“This was fun,” Mannix said. “The team is good. We enjoy playing with one another. Nic is a great player, he is one of the best American players that we have seen in a long time. He plays with heart. He wants to win every game, he wants to win every practice and that’s contagious. Lucas played very well and Grant made a great debut here.”

For game recaps, news, features and photos of Grand Champions Polo Club-related events, go towww.grandchampionspoloclub.org.

Game video can also be seen at PoloNow Network at http://www.polonow.tv/.

2014 HIGH GOAL SEASON

FEBRUARY 21-MARCH 2: C.V. Whitney Cup- Wednesday, Semifinals, Orchard Hill vs. Crab Orchard 1 p.m., Valiente vs. Alegria, 3 p.m.; Thursday, Les Armour Cup, Semifinals, Audi vs. Coca-Cola, 10:30 a.m., Lechuza Caracas vs. Flight Options, 1 p.m.; MARCH 2, Les Armour Cup final, noon; Championship Final, 3 p.m.

FEBRUARY 28-MARCH 8: Iglehart Cup-Friday, CT Energia vs. Palm Beach Illustrated, 1 p.m.; Casablanca vs. Los Machitos/Heathcote, 3 p.m.; MARCH 5, Semifinals 1, 3 p.m.; MARCH 8, Final, 1 p.m.

MARCH 5-23: USPA Piaget Gold Cup

MARCH 26-APRIL 20: 110th Maserati U.S. Open Polo Championships

GRAND CHAMPIONS @ PALM BEACH POLO 2014 TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE (HOTLINE 561-373-0073)

FEBRUARY: Halo Polo Trophy (5 Goals); USPA Cyril R. Harrison Trophy; USPA Sieber Memorial Trophy.

MARCH: Madelon Bourdieu Memorial (5 goals); The Limited Edition 8-Goal Series; USPA Regional President’s Cup (8 goals); $50,000 National 12-Goal Tournament; The Top Pony 12-Goal Series; Santa Rita Abierto (16 goals).

APRIL: Las Acacias (5 goals); USPA Association Cup (8 goals); Museum of Polo & Hall of Fame Challenge Cup (12-goals); John T. Oxley Memorial Trophy (16 goals).

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE

TUESDAY: 8-goal, Tuff Riders/Tulum vs. TLC Development, Field 9, 3 p.m.

WEDNESDAY: 12-goal, Catamount vs. KIG, Field 10, 10 a.m.; Palm Beach Equine vs. Far Niente, Field 8, 3 p.m.; Enigma vs. Casablanca, at La Herradura Ecuador, 4 p.m.

THURSDAY: 5-goal, Aliano Realty vs. Elegante Polo/Tuff Riders, Cypress Field, 10 a.m.; Pony Express at Santa Clara, 4 p.m.

FRIDAY: 8-goal, Tonchala vs. Hawk Hill, at Las Palmas, 3 p.m.; 5-goal, Top Gun at Pony Express, 4 p.m.

SATURDAY: 5-goal, Halo Polo Trophy Final, Series B, Field 10, 10 a.m.; Halo Polo Trophy Final, Series A, 11:30 a.m.; 12-goal, USPA Sieber Memorial Trophy Handicap Final, Field 8, 1:30 p.m.; USPA Sieber Memorial Trophy Final, Field 2, 3 p.m.

SUNDAY: 8-goal, USPA Cyril Harrison Trophy Final, Cypress Field, 11 a.m.

GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB SCHEDULE (561-644-5050)

MARCH 9: Great Futures Celebrity Polo Match, 10 a.m., benefitting the Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington.

MARCH 17: Buzz Welker Memorial Tournament

APRIL 4-5: Fifth annual Gay Polo League International Tournament

APRIL 8-12: Women’s Championship Tournament

GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB

WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.

INFORMATION: There are great field side views for tournament action at the home base of pro teams Audi and Flight Options. Everyone is welcome to watch high, medium and low goal polo in a relaxed atmosphere during the winter, spring and fall tournament season and other special events including International Cup in November, Buzz Welker Memorial Junior Tournament in March, ProKidz Tournaments in the spring and fall, Women’s Championship Tournament and Gay Polo League International Tournament, both in April.

Susan Dutta and Currency DC Are Best in FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3* at AGDF Alix Szepesi and Majco Thunder’s Hattrick Triumph in FEI Intermediaire-1 Freestyle CDI 3*

February 27, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

For Immediate ReleaseLaura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media

 

Wellington, FL – February 23, 2014 – CDI 3* competition wrapped up on Sunday afternoon at the seventh week of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF). After a full week of CDIO and CDI 3* competition, the FEI Intermediaire-1 Freestyle, presented by Peacock Ridge, crowned its winner Sunday morning. Competition concluded for the week with the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle, presented by Stillpoint Farm.

 

Competition for AGDF 8 will resume on February 28 for the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W. The feature event of the week, the FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix Freestyle, will be highlighted on the evening of Saturday, March 1.

 

The FEI Grand Prix Freestyle was a truly international class, seeing riders from Canada, the United States, Germany, Georgia, Brazil, and Italy. American Susan Dutta and her own Currency DC, a 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding, emerged victorious from the class with a score of 71.950%. Canadian Jacqueline Brooks rode to second place with D Niro on a score of 71.275%. Maria Kaldewei (GER) rounded out the top three with a score of 68.625% aboard Die Suesse.

Susan Dutta and Currency DC

Dutta was very pleased with the improvements she saw in her test after making some adjustments to her choreography. “I’ve done this choreography a few times this year, and I kept having mistakes in the changes. We were finally like, ‘Let’s change the lines to make it so that we can have some success of a clean trip.’ And it was good. It worked. So that was a nice feeling,” Dutta explained.

 

She continued, “I’m just right now trying to get clean, technical tricks. That’s a huge success for me. I’ve never been a fancy choreography rider. I always have great music, but I like to be a safe rider.”

 

Dutta’s “Slumdog Millionaire”-themed music was a natural choice, given her husband Tim’s Indian heritage. She was particularly drawn to the lyrics, “jai ho,” that repeat through her routine; they mean “blessings” in Hindi.

Of her choreography, Dutta commented, “I love the pirouettes on the short end [of the ring] because you can really ride into them. For me, it fixes the habit that I love to over prepare, and I just don’t have the time, so they’re always good. I love the ending, that fan in the piaffe. I could do those all day long.”

 

She continued, “I don’t do anything too crazy tricky because the horse is pretty flamboyant in those movements, so you want [the judges and audience] to just be able to watch and enjoy him and not be too radical in the movements.”

 

Second place finisher Brooks tried out a new freestyle with D Niro, which she felt went quite well. Her biggest victory was reaching a breakthrough in the gelding’s self-carriage. “He’s just mature now. He knows his job now. I finally feel like the fitness and the strength and understanding are all at the same level,” Brooks remarked.

 

She elaborated, “This season, it’s all about his strength and his self-carriage. That’s a scary thing when you start saying to them in the ring, ‘Now you go ahead and try to do this on your own,’ and you try to give them a little bit less help so you can push them uphill. That I was extremely pleased with today.”

 

A unique challenge of the AGDF for Brooks is tweaking the timing of her choreography to make up for the fact her horse moves differently on the footing of The Stadium. “On this amazing footing, it’s different timing than in a normal sand ring. They stay on the surface a bit more here, they gain a bit more ground. You see people will usually finish a bit ahead of their music on this footing,” Brooks described.

 

Brooks actually sees the difference in timing as an advantage with her new choreography, not a hindrance. “I’m really happy with where I’m using up that music. I can make it a bit more difficult. I can take my half passes really to the walls and back, which increased the degree of difficulty,” Brooks expressed.

 

Alix Szepesi (USA) and Majco Thunder’s Hattrick topped the FEI Intermediaire Freestyle-1 earlier on Sunday with a score of 68.542%. Second place went to fellow American Bent Jensen and Saracen, who earned a 67.833%. Sonia Zugel of Ireland rounded out the top three with Ungaro with a 67.083%.

 

Szepesi was quite pleased to see “Hattrick,” a 13-year-old Knabstrupper gelding co-owned by Szepesi and Michelle Doucette, coming along nicely during his first year the CDI level.

 

“He came in, he had good energy. He was on the aids. I think we were right on the music. It was a lot of fun. I got a little over eager in one of the canter pirouettes. We were going into our first canter pirouette and I was thinking ‘This is great!’ and I didn’t keep him connected enough, so he kind of had a little fumble coming out of it,” Szepesi explained.

 

She continued, “Our first line of two tempis was really good, I think the three [tempis] were right on. I think I hit the music like right on. We had a little bobble in our second line of two tempis, but he felt great and it just flowed with the music.”

 

Hattrick enjoys his freestyle music so much, he’s memorized all of the markers in the music to transition between movements. Szepesi enjoys feeling him light up in anticipation of the next element of choreography.

Alix Szepesi and Majco Thunder’s Hattrick

Szepesi described that managing Hattrick in a CDI environment outside of the ring has been a big adjustment for the gelding, with the biggest test being how Hattrick would react to staying in FEI stabling instead of going home each day to several hours of turn-out after a National show.

 

“I really believe in turn-out and he’s used to getting turn-out like four or six hours a day, even down here in Wellington. We found a place that has enough turn-out for the horses to go out and have grass and just be normal. What we’d done in the past, [for National shows], we just put him the trailer, did the class, and went home,” Szepesi described.

 

Szepesi credited groom Emily LaGrave for making the smooth transition into CDI possible. “I have a wonderful groom, Emily LaGrave. She stays with him all day. She walks him, and she grazes him, so he’s not just standing in the stall. It makes a huge difference,” Szepesi expressed.

 

She continued, “She’s been doing an incredible job with keeping him sparkling white. That is all Emily! She gets a lot of compliments on that.”

 

Hattrick’s gleaming white coat and spotted skin tends to turn heads amongst the sea of bay and chestnut horses often seen ringside. Szepesi admitted she didn’t even know the Knabstrupper breed existed before watching a video of Hattrick, and the gelding simply happened to fall in her lap.

 

“A Danish dealer that we had worked with before just sent videos. I think he must have just had a video of this horse and he sent to everyone he knew, so we just got this video at the barn one day. We looked at the video and pretty much everybody in the beginning said, ‘No, he’s got spots,'” Szepesi described.

 

But a few weeks later, now co-owner Doucette came back to Szepesi to ask about the horse with the spots. The video had struck a chord with her and despite hearing he had already been sold, Doucette urged Szepesi to reach out to the dealer.

 

“We called the dealer and he said, ‘As a matter of fact, the guy’s sponsorship fell through and I have the horse back in the barn now.’ It’s one of those things that was kind of meant to be,” Szepesi recalled.

 

The only trait that stands out more than his looks is Hattrick’s remarkably laid-back attitude on the showgrounds. He stood calmly while being adorned with his blue ribbon and winner’s cooler before quietly walking into the ring for the awards presentation. He’s so quiet Szepesi doesn’t even worry about putting protective wraps or boots on him for the victory lap.

 

“He’s always been like that! The woman that bred him [Ingrid Mikkelsen] actually did some Monty Roberts [natural horsemanship] stuff,” Szepesi commented. “She sent us some foal pictures and there were ones of him with the big ball and walking under tarps.”

 

Szepesi will continue to compete Hattrick in the remaining CDI competitions of the AGDF. By the end of the season, she hopes to ride him in an Intermediaire A class to continue to move towards an FEI Grand Prix debut.

 

Tanya Strasser-Shostak added another blue ribbon to her already impressive haul from AGDF 7 after winning the FEI Young Rider Freestyle, presented by Engel & Völkers. Strasser-Shostak and Action Tyme topped the class with a 70.292%.

 

Competition for the AGDF resumes Friday, March 28, for the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W presented by Martha W. Jolicoeur and Maria Mendelsohn of Illustrated Properties.

 

Full Results for FEI Intermediaire-1 Freestyle, presented by Peacock Ridge

Rider, Country, Horse, Age, Breeding: Judge E%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Total %

1 Alix Szepesi, USA, Majco Thunder’s Hattrick, 13-year-old Knapstrupper gelding owned by rider, Jasmin x Thunder Boy: 66.375%, 72.375%, 66.875%, 68.542%

 

2 Bent Jensen, USA, Saracen, 12-year-old Oldenburg stallion owned by Michael Bitely, Damoiselle x Sciitar: 66.625%, 66.750%, 70.125%, 67.833%

 

3 Sonia Zugel, IRL, Ungaro, 17-year-old Belgium Warmblood gelding owned by rider, M. Lady One x Weltmeyer II: 67.250%, 66.500%, 67.500%, 67.083%

 

4 Samira Mayumi Uemura, BRA, Tamarindo XI, 10-year-old P.R.E. stallion owned by rider, Kiv x Maglco VI: 65.625%, 62.875%, 66.625%, 65.042%

 

Full Results for FEI Grand Prix Freestyle presented by Stillpoint Farm

Rider, Country, Horse, Age, Breeding: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total %

 

1 Susan Dutta, USA, Currency DC, 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by rider, Cinderella x Clintino: 70.125%, 76.375%, 69.875%, 69.625%, 73.750%, 71.950%

 

2 Jacqueline Brooks, CAN, D Niro, 15-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Brookhaven Dressage Inc., Alitalia x D Day: 71.875%, 74.125%, 70.000%, 70.750%, 69.625%, 71.275%

 

3 Maria Kaldewei, GER, Die Suesse, 12-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by rider, Wanda x Diamond Hit: 69.375%, 67.500%, 68.250%, 70.375%, 67.625%, 68.625%

 

4 Silvia Rizzo, ITA, Sal, 15-year-old Lusitano stallion owned by Silvia Rizo & Hof Marabunta, Maia x Mississipe: 64.750%, 67.250%, 66.125%, 66.750%, 67.760%, 66.125%

 

5 Joanne Vaughan, GEO, Prego, 17-year-old KWPN stallion owned by rider, Evelien x Zazou: 67.675%, 64.875%, 65.000%, 62.500%, 65.125%, 64.975%

 

Photo Credit: Photos © SusanJStickle.com. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.

About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) is one of the world’s largest international and national dressage circuits featuring 8 FEI Dressage events, including a 5* and the only FEI Nations’ Cup Series CDIO in the Western Hemisphere. The AGDF offers more than $400,000 in prize money for the six international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area for the International Arena fully catered for relaxing and having an enjoyable experience.

Please visit

www.globaldressagefestival.com

www.equestriansport.com

or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at

The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center

13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414