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USEF and USPEA Partner to Create International Para-Equestrian Dressage Centers of Excellence

September 16, 2015 By: Editor Category: General

Rebecca Hart and Schroeter’s Romani perform their Individual Test at the 2014 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship & Selection Trial. Photo by Susan Stickle,

Rebecca Hart and Schroeter’s Romani perform their Individual Test at the 2014 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship & Selection Trial. Photo by Susan Stickle,

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce its partnership with the United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) to establish International Para-Equestrian Dressage Centers of Excellence (COE). COEs will serve as the foundation to attract new athletes to para-equestrian dressage and develop athletes and coaches for competition at the international level, including the Paralympic Games. There are many excellent centers around the U.S. that offer those with disabilities the opportunity to train and compete. The aim of COEs is to give those that want the thrill of international competition a pathway and an opportunity to learn about the sport of para-equestrian dressage. Owners of existing equestrian training facilities interested in growing the para-equestrian dressage sport are encouraged to submit their venue for consideration. Applications for this prestigious designation will be accepted August 21 – November 15, 2015.

Our goal with COEs is to increase the pool and ability of eligible para-equestrian athletes in the United States by enhancing the quality, consistency, and volume of education and training available to develop high-performance athletes for greater success in international competition. The USPEA will be a great asset to us as we go through the selection process and refine the plan for these COEs to succeed. If we want to win medals on the international stage we have to grow the sport in the U.S. and also grow the number of owners and sponsors supporting the sport. There are many enjoying the benefits of riding and we want to reach out to them and show them how, with hard work and dedication, they might be winning medals at future Paralympic and World Equestrian Games,” said Will Connell, USEF Director of Sport.

In order to identify more para-equestrian dressage athletes and coaches, the USEF and USPEA will work together to promote the COE concept to organizations who offer equestrian opportunities to athletes with disabilities. The USEF and USPEA will develop a para-equestrian coaching network and coach certification process across the U.S., as well as sport programs and services.

“Through these efforts we will bring in more athletes and more training centers to the sport. Hopefully those that run dressage centers will realize that para-equestrian dressage and dressage require very similar facilities and coaching support,” said Hope Hand, President of the USPEA.

A selection committee will review each submission and may conduct a site visit or interview with the leading facilities. The designation of the first COEs will be announced no later than January 3, 2016. Further information about COEs, the application, and selection process can be found at or by emailing Laureen Johnson, USEF Director, Para-Equestrian & Vaulting at

Preparing For Pony Finals 2015

June 29, 2015 By: janwest Category: General

Every pony rider's dream — Sydney Flashman and barn mate, Mara Chemerinsky, the afternoon before Pony Finals began. (Photo courtesy of Sydney Flashman)

Every pony rider’s dream — Sydney Flashman and barn mate, Mara Chemerinsky, the afternoon before Pony Finals 2014 began. (Photo courtesy of Sydney Flashman)

By Sydney Flashman

U.S. National Pony Finals. Every pony rider’s dream. The most prestigious event available to any equestrian under 18 who’s partner in the ring is a four-legged beast under 14.2 hands. In my opinion, the best show ever.

The venue is gorgeous, the judges are reputable, the ponies are fancy and each and every rider competing in the finals is talented.

The gorgeous venue — the Walnut Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. (Photo courtesy of Sydney Flashman)

The gorgeous venue — the Walnut Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park.
(Photo courtesy of Sydney Flashman)

The competition itself is extremely difficult — the Walnut Arena, where the ponies compete, is only open to ponies the week of Pony Finals and only for hacking. There is never a chance to jump in the ring, and the ponies see the jumps for the first time when they start the course. The huge arena is surrounded by people watching, golf carts zipping along the road and ponies waiting to enter the ring for their one and only jumping round. One side of the ring is lined with waving flags — perfect for a pony to spook at on a windy day. To add to the busy scene, rain falls from the Kentucky skies at random intervals, introducing yet another challenge the skillful ponies and riders must face while attempting to complete a perfect course. It is the experience of a lifetime, no matter where a rider places.

For some, Pony Finals is a career changing event — winning a class or division at Pony Finals guarantees that the entire pony community will know your name. A pony could go from an adorable member of the barn family, not well known but well loved, to a pony recognized and loved by hundreds, even thousands of riders from across the country.

The calm before the storm — the Walnut Arena, where the ponies compete, early the morning of the first day of competition. (Photo courtesy of Sydney Flashman)

The calm before the storm — the Walnut Arena, where the ponies compete, early the morning of the first day of competition. (Photo courtesy of Sydney Flashman)

To win a class or division at Pony Finals is extremely difficult. Many riders go just hoping to have fun. Of course everyone wants to do well, but when there are 80 plus ponies in your class, you have to be absolutely perfect to be on the top of the podium, or even to place. Yes, you get four chances to ribbon and are offered many other awards — the top ten scorers in the model, under saddle and over fences classes earn ribbons, and ribbons through twentieth are provided to the overall high scorers in each division. Everything from sportsmanship awards, awards based on a pony’s birthplace or breeding, even awards for the best turned out pony are offered. If one does extremely well in their division, they may be in the running for the Overall Grand Pony Champion or Overall Grand Green Pony Champion award, which is given to the highest scoring green and rated pony at the show.

But even with all of the awards offered, it is very difficult to do well as many ponies at Pony Finals have it all — they are great in the model, they move beautifully and they jump a 10. With so many quality ponies, it is difficult to stand out, even if your pony is a triple threat. And even in the greens, a division for inexperienced ponies, one can find at least one example of a “green pony” that simply has more show experience than the others or one that refuses to be spooked by anything, even the chaos of Pony Finals. But 20 young riders in each division come home with more than fun memories from the experience of a lifetime — one or more rosettes from Pony Finals, earned by being a member of the top 20 overall in their division or divisions, and any ribbons earned from between the model, the first class, and the jumping round, the last.

Sydney Flashman riding Alliance Bowregard at HITS Thermal. (Photo courtesy of Sydney Flashman)

Sydney Flashman riding Alliance Bowregard at HITS Thermal.
(Photo courtesy of Sydney Flashman)

That’s where I come in. My name is Sydney Flashman, and I’m from Zone 10 — California. I compete in both the pony jumpers and pony hunters, but at Pony Finals 2015, I’ll be returning to Pony Finals for a second time; this  year on a Small Green Pony Hunter, Alliance Bowregard (Bo), and possibly a Large Green Pony Hunter named Miss Penny Lane, known around the barn as Nala. I will also be competing in the USEF Pony Medal Finals, but I have yet to choose my mount. With enough practice, determination, dedication and luck, I can bring home a ribbon or two from both divisions and do well in the Pony Medal.

U.S. Completes Historic Week at CSIO Wellington by Winning the CSIO4* Grand Prix presented by Lugano Diamonds and Sweeps FEI Nations Cup Competition

March 01, 2015 By: janwest Category: General

Todd Minikus and Babalou 41 (Photo Credit: Sportfot)

Todd Minikus and Babalou 41 (Photo Credit: Sportfot)

By Helen Murray

Wellington, Fla. – A week of unprecedented success for the U.S. at CSIO Wellington came to a close on Sunday with Todd Minikus claiming victory in the CSIO4* Grand Prix presented by Lugano Diamonds and the U.S. Teams completing a clean sweep of FEI Nations Cups presented by Hollow Creek Farm.

Minikus (Wellington, Fla.) and his partner from the United States’ winning effort in the FEI Nations Cup presented by Kingsland Equestrian, Babalou 41, charged to the head of the field in Sunday’s feature Grand Prix on the strength of impressive jumping. The pair was one of 10 combinations to jump faultlessly over Anthony D’Ambrosio’s 14-obstacle course and qualify to return for the jump-off. In their return trip, Minikus and Two Swans Farm’s 10-year-old Oldenburg mare again produced a clear round in a time of 35.77, which no other combination could match.

“That was a nice week,” said Minikus. “Babalou is starting to step up to the big leagues. I think she’s got a big future ahead of her and I couldn’t be happier with her.”

Teammates from the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team, McLain Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) and Double H Farm’s 13-year-old Zangersheide gelding HH Carlos Z and Margie Engle and Elm Rock Partners, LLC’s 11-year-old Oldenburg stallion also qualified for the jump-off, finishing in eighth and ninth places, respectively.

FEI Nations Cups presented by Hollow Creek Farm

Postponed because of rain on Saturday, the conclusion of the FEI Nations Cups presented by Hollow Creek Farm began with the completion of the first round of the Children’s competition followed by the second round for Children’s competitors. The second rounds of the Junior and Young Riders Nations Cup were then completed, with the second round of the Nations Cup doubling as the first round of Grand Prix competition. All Nations Cup second round clears returned to jump-off for the Hollow Creek Grand Prix titles. Drawing inspiration from the United States win in Friday’s FEI Nations Cup presented by Kingsland Equestrian, the Child Rider, Junior Rider, and Young Rider Teams all surged to victory, ensuring that the home nation won all four Nations Cup held at CSIO Wellington.

Led by Chef d’Equipe Diann Langer, the three U.S. teams of promising young equestrians held the lead after their respective first rounds over Anthony D’Ambrosio’s course and produced strong second rounds efforts to secure victory.

“It was a great day and a great week all the way through,” said Langer. “I thought the teams were the best of the best. I came in feeling very confident, but you never know what can happen and I’m very pleased with them all and so excited.”

FEI Children’s Nations Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm

The winning U.S. Child Riders Team. (Photo Credit: Sportfot)

The winning U.S. Child Riders Team. (Photo Credit: Sportfot)

The U.S. Child Riders set the tone for the day as they stormed to victory, finishing on a two-round total of zero, ahead of Brazil in second place on four faults and Argentina in third place on a score of five faults.

Yasmin Rizvi (Greenwich, Conn.) jumped in the lead-off position for the U.S. and produced a double clear with immaculate efforts in both rounds of the Nations Cup. In the jump-off, she again was clear with Peacock Ridge, LLC’s 15-year-old KWPN gelding Delilah, finishing in a time of 30.59 to earn second-place honors in the Hollow Creek Farm Children’s Grand Prix.

“It’s really exciting to win, it was my first time on a team and it was really fun,” said Rizvi. “I felt a little more pressure because I didn’t want to let the team down but it was so much more fun to win as a team.”

Catalina Peralta (Geneva, Fla.) added her name to the list of eight double clears with faultless rounds on Frances Land’s Merlin. In the Grand Prix jump-off, the 15-year-old British Warmblood lowered a single rail in a time of 31.70 to finish in 12th place.

Charles Jacobs (Wellington, Fla.) and CMJ Sporthorse, LLC’s 15-year-old Sachsen-Anhaltiner gelding Campesino IV jumped in the third spot for the United States, incurring four-fault trips in both Nations Cup rounds and finishing in 17th in the Grand Prix.

Anchoring the U.S. effort in the Children’s Nations Cup was Sheer Levitin (Delray Beach, Fla.) and her own 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding Nabuco. With clears in both rounds, the combination secured victory for the Americans as well as finishing in 11th place in Grand Prix after having the final rail in the jump-off where they finished in a time of 27.91.

Brazil’s Thales Marino and Balla 12 were the winners of the Hollow Creek Farm Children’s Grand Prix, going clear in the jump-off in a time of 30.40.

FEI Junior Riders Nations Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm

The winning U.S. Junior Rider Team. (Photo Credit: Sportfot)

The winning U.S. Junior Rider Team. (Photo Credit: Sportfot)

The Junior Rider Team of Kelli Cruciotti, Lauren Fisher, Madison Goetzmann, and Lucas Porter followed the Children’s victory with a win of their own, finishing on an overall score of one fault. The U.S. headed into the second round on Sunday on a score of one and added nothing more on the strength of three clear rounds.

Cruciotti (Elizabeth, Colo.) jumped first for the United States with Serenity Equestrian Ventures’ 14-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare Chamonix H and repeated her clear round from Saturday to be one of only two double clears. In the jump-off the pair had a single rail and finished in a time of 32.05 to finish the Hollow Creek Farm Young Rider Grand Prix in sixth place.

“She’s amazing and has a huge heart, and lots of scope and a big stride that I can really use to my advantage,” said Cruciotti of Chamonix H. “She’s a pleasure to ride.”

After incurring one time fault in the first round, Fischer (Bedford, N.Y.) had an improved effort with her own Offenbach Du Granit producing a faultless effort in round two. In the jump-off the 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding had two rails down for eight faults in a time of 30.51 to finish in ninth.

Goetzmann (Skaneateles, N.Y.) and John Madden Sales Inc.’s 12-year-old KWPN gelding Wrigley were clear in Saturday’s first round but jumped a four-fault round on Sunday. The pair completed the Grand Prix in 14th place.

Porter and Phineas, who had a single rail in the first round, jumped clear on Sunday to ensure the U.S. would finish on a score of one. In the jump-off, Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding lowered two rails for eight faults in a time of 33.60 to finish the Grand Prix in 10th place.

Ireland collected second-place honors in Nations Cup competition on 13 faults, as Brazil finished third on a score of 16 faults. Mexico’s Juan Pablo Gaspar and Charlotte were victorious in the Grand Prix, finishing their clear jump-off round in 31.62 seconds.

FEI Young Riders Nations Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm

The winning U.S. Young Rider Team. (Photo Credit: Sportfot)

The winning U.S. Young Rider Team. (Photo Credit: Sportfot)

The U.S. Young Riders completed the American sweep of Nations Cups at CSIO Wellington as the team of Shawn Casady, Spencer Smith, Chloe Reid, and Michael Hughes finished on a two round total of four faults to finish ahead of Brazil on 24 faults and Ireland in third on 28 faults.

Leading off for the U.S. was Casady (Harriman, Tenn.) and Cavallo Farms, LLC’s 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Twister. The combinationduplicated their four-fault effort from round one on Sunday to finish the Grand Prix in sixth place.

Smith (Wellington, Fla.) and Wyndmont’s IV Ever produced two immaculate rounds in the Nations Cup to be one of only two double clear combinations. In the jump-off the pair jumped another fault-free effort in an unmatchable time of 32.84 to win the Grand Prix.

Spencer Smith and IV Ever (Photo Credit: Sportfot)

Spencer Smith and IV Ever (Photo Credit: Sportfot)

“I thought the course was a real test of consistency,” said Smith of D’Ambrosio’s course. The 2014 Pessoa/US Hunter Seat Medal Finals presented by Randolph College champion has only been riding IV Ever a short time but has quickly built a rapport with the 14-year-old KWPN gelding. “I started riding him at the beginning of the circuit and he’s been really great for me.”

Reid (Washington, D.C.) also looked to add her name to the double-clear list with Chloe D Reid LLC’s 10-year-old Athena, but it was not meant to be as they collected four faults on Sunday. The 2014 Randolph College/USEF Junior Jumper Champions finished the Grand Prix in seventh place.

Anchoring the U.S. effort was Hughes (Allendale, N.J.) and Luxina. Not needed to jump in round one, the pair completed the U.S. effort in round two with a clear round. In the jump off, Christina Fried’s 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare lowered a single rail in a time of 33.67 to finish in fourth.

The USEF would like to thank the owners and families of the Child Rider, Junior Rider, and Young Rider competitors for their generous support of the future stars of the sport.

Caitlin Burns Ends the Season on a High Note: Navona Gallegos and Vatricia Top the Welcome Stake

October 13, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Caitlin Burns and On The Money

Caitlin Burns and On the Money during
Summer in the Rockies
Photo by Mary Adelaide Brakenridge
Parker, CO – October 10, 2014 – The Colorado Horse Park hosted the USEF “A”-rated Colorado Fall Finals Horse Show September 25-28, 2014, at the picturesque facility in Parker. The final hunter /jumper competition of the 2014 season featured a full range of hunter, jumper, equitation and pony classes and divisions, including hunter and jumper classics.

In the amateur hunters, Caitlin Burns from Longmont, Colorado, and her mare, On the Money, won both their over fences classes on Saturday and were fourth in one of the over fences classes on Sunday to clinch the championship of the Junior/Amateur Owner Hunters.

Burns trains with Mark Mead of Sleepy Hollow Farm in Longmont, Colorado.

“On The Money always comes out trying,” Burns said about the bay Thoroughbred. “This weekend we probably had our best handy course to date. I’ve ridden with Mark for a long time. He has a way of always seeing the positive in situations – a great quality.”
With her own Blue Dutch, a grey Dutch Warmblood gelding, Burns also prevailed in the Adult Amateurs 18 and Over division, earning the tricolor. Burns and Blue Dutch won an over fences class on Saturday and were third in the other. They also won Saturday’s $500 Marshall and Sterling Adult Hunter Classic. On Sunday, the pair won an over fences class, were fourth in another and fifth under saddle. In the $500 NAL Adult Hunter Classic, the pair earned second place honors.

“It’s always nice to have some good rounds, and to put it together with both horses is an extra treat,” said Burns. “Both of these horses are just great. Blue Dutch has been on a steady uphill gain this year. He came back from a long lay-off this spring. We started back slow doing the 2’6″ and returned to the Adults at the Horse Park in June. It was a little rocky to start, but there were always glimmers of hope. And slowly but surely, it has just gotten better and better.”

“I had a great year at Colorado Horse Park and always enjoy showing there,” she continued. “This winter I’m taking my horses to Texas to ride and show a few different places, but I look forward to returning to the Horse Park next summer!”

Fall Finals at the Colorado Horse Park also featured jumper competition in the Kathy and Brad Coors Family Grand Prix Arena, and Navona Gallegos won the $2,500 Welcome Stake.

“I went ninth in the class and I didn’t get to see anyone else jump off before me, so I just tried to go efficiently,” said Gallegos. “There were some long gallops and there was a nice inside turn to the last vertical in the jump-off.”

Gallegos trained with Mike Elmore while she was still showing her last pony and transitioning to the junior hunters and the equitation. Then, she worked with Karen Healey on the West Coast and rode with Laura Kraut on the East Coast through her college years. Last year, she concentrated on finishing at University of Virginia and sent her horses back to Elmore in Abiquiú, New Mexico. After graduation, she moved back to the Santa Fe area.

“Mike is absolutely fantastic,” she said. “This summer I came back and have been working with him, which has been absolutely delightful.”

Gallegos purchased Vatricia, a chestnut Dutch Warmblood mare, from Kraut and showed her in the 8-Year-Old Young Jumpers. The horse and rider team progressed together to grand prix. According to Gallegos, they matured not only as a team, but also individually as a horse and as a rider. Then, Vatricia had two unrelated back-to-back injuries and was sidelined for over a year.
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Whitney Stahl Presents the award to Navona Gallegos and Vatricia.
Photo By: Courtesy of Whitney Stahl
“We weren’t sure if she would come back and be able to jump, but we let her come back slowly and kept our fingers crossed,” Gallegos said. “Mike has done a wonderful job of getting her fit and keeping her sound. Now she’s going great, which is really exciting.”
“The mare was jumping so well that the people in the audience couldn’t stop saying, ‘Wow,'” Elmore commented. “She’s a remarkable mare. At home she’s sleepy and lazy but when she gets to a horse show it’s like she’s on stage and she’s ready to go.”

Elmore credits his client’s talent for their fantastic results at Colorado Horse Park.

“All I did was get the mare in good shape,” he said. “Then, I got out of the way so the two of them could shine. It was fun watching that happen. They make a good pair.”

Check out the Colorado Horse Park website for postings of educational events for the 2014/2015 season. Hunter/jumper competition resumes on March 14-15, 2015, for the CHP Marches on CHJS show, followed by CHP Spring Warm-Up I, which runs April 23-26.

Click here for complete results from Colorado Fall Finals.

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

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

Show Jumping Mare Sapphire Dies 1995-2014

June 23, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Lexington, Ky.– The United States Equestrian Federation mourns the loss of the great show jumping mare Sapphire who died on June 22, 2014 following complications from colic. With longtime rider, McLain Ward, the 1995 Belgian Warmblood mare was a stalwart of U.S. Jumping Teams for years helping the United States to capture Team Gold at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games and Team Silver at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games.

“Sapphire epitomized a great mare, and if you have a great mare; you have a great horse,” remembered legendary horseman and former U.S. Show Jumping Chef d’Equipe George Morris. “She was the anchor of so many U.S. teams; she had the scope, she was careful, I can’t say enough good things about her. She was one of the greatest horses of the century.”

McLain Ward and Sapphire at the 2008 Olympic Games (Bob Langrish)

McLain Ward and Sapphire at the 2008 Olympic Games (Bob Langrish)

In addition to great team successes, Ward and “Sara” earned top honors in many of the world’s most prestigious competitions and Grand Prixes, including a second-place finish at the 2009 Rolex/FEI World Cup Final in Las Vegas. The duo  twice claimed victory in the FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix (2009, 2010), the Grand Prix of Devon (2007, 2009), the Hampton Classic Grand Prix (2009, 2010), and the President’s Cup at the Washington International Horse Show (2008, 2010). Sapphire’s extensive resume also includes wins at the 2008 Budweiser Invitational, 2009 $1 Million CN International at Spruce Meadows, 2010 La Baule Grand Prix, 2010 Rome Grand Prix, and 2010 Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix.

“Our entire Castle Hill family and every person she has touched has lost a great friend. Thank you Sara not just for all the dreams you made come true but simply for being who you were,” said Ward. “You always will be my champion in every way. Godspeed, good friend.”

Link to Sapphire Tribute Below  


The USEF extends its deepest condolences to Ward, Castle Hill Farm team and all of Sapphire’s owners throughout her storied career; Tom Grossman, Blue Chip Bloodstock, McLain Ward, Double H Farm, Missy Clark and Harry Gill.

Top-notch Competition Set to Begin at 2014 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp

June 12, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Gladstone, N.J. – The focus of the dressage world will turn to Gladstone, N.J., this week for the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp, as it runs June 12-15, in the Dick and Jane Brown Arena at the USET Foundation Headquarters. The annual championship will host the best dressage combinations in the United States across six divisions of competition, including Grand Prix, Intermediaire I, Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup,’ Young Rider, Junior, and Pony Rider competition. Grand Prix competition will be doubly important as it will serve as a Selection Trial for the U.S. Dressage Team Short List for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

The Dutta Corp/USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship

Arlene "Tuny" Page and Alina (

Arlene “Tuny” Page and Alina (

A field of 16 lines up in the Grand Prix Championship/Selection Trial, which gets underway on Thursday, as combinations will earn the first 45% of their championships score in the FEI Grand Prix Test. They return to the Dick and Jane Brown Arena on Saturday to contest the FEI Grand Prix Special, earning a further 40%. Grand Prix competition comes to a close on Sunday with the Freestyles, as competitors earn the remaining 15% of their overall scores. All four riders that represented the U.S. at the London Olympic Games have traveled to Gladstone to stake their claims on a National Title and look to represent the United States at the World Championships in Normandy, France. Steffen Peters (San Diego, Calif.) will look to secure his third consecutive National Championship with Four Winds Farm’s Legolas 92. Jan Ebeling (Moorpark, Calif.), Tina Konyot (Palm City, Fla.), and Adrienne Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho) will all ride their Olympic partners, Beth Meyer, Ann Romney, and Amy Roberts Ebeling’s Rafalca, Konyot’s Calecto V, and Peggy Thomas’ Wizard, respectively. Arlene Page (Wellington, Fla.) brings her own Alina to Gladstone after having spent part of the 2014 season competing in Europe on a USEF Dressage High Performance Pre-Games Training and Competition Grant.

The Dutta Corp/USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship

The Dutta Corp/USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship will host 17 talented combinations in Small Tour competition. Like their Big Tour counterparts, they will perform three tests this week. On Thursday all competitors will earn 40% of their totals for the FEI Prix St. Georges Test, and return the following day to ride the FEI Intermediaire I Test for 45% of their championships scores. The final 15% of the Intermediaire Championship scores will be earned Sunday in the Freestyle. The 2013 champions have come to the historic USET Foundation Headquarters looking to retain their title. Kim Herslow (Stockton, N.J.) and Kiroli Enterprises Inc.’s Rosmarin will look to display the form that led them to a sweep of Small Tour competition at 2013’s Dressage at Devon.

Christopher Hickey

Christopher Hickey and Ronaldo (

Christopher Hickey (Colora, Md.) brings Cecelia Stewart’s rising star, Ronaldo, to Gladstone this week in hopes of earning the fourth National Title of his career.

USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship

presented by Dressage Today

A small but mighty field of five lines up for USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship presented by Dressage Today competition. The future Grand Prix stars of American dressage earn the first half of their championship scores on Thursday as they perform the USEF Young Adult “Brentina Cup” Test and earn the remaining 50% of their totals on Saturday in the FEI Young Adult U-25 Grand Prix Test. The Reserve Champions from 2013, Rachel Chowanec (Columbia, Conn.) and Lendon Gray’s Embrujado XI, will head down centerline in the Dick and Jane Brown Arena looking to top the standings this week.

AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship

In the AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship, a talented field of 10 riders, all under the age of 21, have traveled to Gladstone to stake their claims on one of the most prestigious honors a young rider can garner. On Friday they begin performing the FEI Young Rider Team Test and return the following day to ride the FEI Young Rider Individual Test. Both tests will count for 50% of the championship average. Anna Buffini has traveled to New Jersey from her home base in Escondido, Calif., with her own Sundayboy, who competed in Small Tour competition with Olympian Guenter Seidel, to showcase the talent that has seen them rise to the top of the 2014 AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship Ranking List.

AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship

Twelve of the top junior riders from across the United States will line up to earn bragging rights in the AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship by contesting the FEI Junior Team Test for 50% of their score on Friday. Competition comes to a close on Saturday as they return to the Dick and Jane Brown Arena to ride the Individual Test for the remaining half of their score. The 2013 Champion Bebe Davis (Bedminster, N.J.) returns to the Festival of Champions with her partner at last year’s championship, Michael Davis’ Rotano, as well as a new mount this year, Michael Davis’ Feivel Mousekewitz, both of whom she has found great success with in the competition arena. Allison Cyprus (Magnolia, Texas) hopes to find success once more in Gladstone after winning the 2011 National Pony Rider Dressage Championship at the famous venue. In her first year competing at the FEI Junior level, she and her mother Kristin Cyprus’ Madoc Gareth have found great success.

USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship

A field of 11 will compete in the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship. On Friday the riders will perform the FEI Pony Team Test for the first 50% of their overall championship score, while the remaining 50% from the FEI Pony Individual Test will determine the winner. Emma Patterson (Houston, Texas), winner of the 2012 13-and-Under USEF Dressage Seat Medal Final, will ride her own Wynshire’s Valiant and hope to find success in another USEF National Championship.

Watch the championship divisions unfold on Saturday and Sunday on the USEF Network.

Go to

Find out more information about the event at

Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo Capture First Victory for $200,000 American Invitational, Presented by G & C Farm, at Sun Life Stadium Miami

April 11, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Miami, FL – April 5, 2014 – Tonight, history was made as the 42nd Gene Mische $200,000 American Invitational, presented by G&C Farm, found its new home at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, FL. The class has become a landmark of the showjumping world, and tonight was no exception as 29 horse and rider combinations gathered on the field to compete in a battle of the best. It was an electrifying night as spectators looked on to the stadium turf, but it was with swiftness and accuracy that Beezie Madden was able to emerge as the victor tonight. Aboard Coral Reef Via Volo, Madden rode to her third American Invitational victory, a feat few can claim.


Madden navigated Coral Reef Via Volo to a double-clear effort during a five-horse jump off. They tripped the timers in 35.91 seconds after completing a clear short course, while Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Atlanta rode to the second place for the only other double clear effort. Lauren Hough and Ohlala were the third place finishers, taking the honors as the fastest of the four faulters after lowering the height of obstacle 17, an oxer set near the in gate.


Designer of the 2008 Olympic courses, Steve Stephens of Palmetto, FL, designed tonight’s toilsome track. The 13 numbered obstacles featured a triple bar-oxer double combination, a scopey vertical leading into the oxer-liverpool combination, a unique, suspended American Invitational wall, a skinny, a blue, square oxer and a daunting G&C Farms final oxer. The most difficult obstacle proved to be the double combination coming off of the Miami Dolphins oxer, resulting in numerous rails on the ground.


Hough and Ohlala were the first to traverse the opening track, showing the way as the eleventh to take on the course. The crowd erupted into a resounding applause as she showed that it could be done. Madden guaranteed a jump-off only two rounds later, crossing the finish line without fault. Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa and Citizenguard Cadjanine also rode to a clear effort, while Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum rode Atlanta to the fourth slot of the short course. It was Miami’s own Margie Engle, aboard Royce, who filled the fifth position, leaving the audience on the edge of their seats.


   Lauren Hough and Ohlala

Lauren Hough and Ohlala

With a jump off eminent, the stakes were high as riders entered into the seven-obstacle track. Their eyes were set on the prize, but Stephens’ course left much to be determined on the turf.


Hough was the first to return, and although she was very quick early on, her approach to the final oxer sealed her fate as a four-faulter with Ohlala. They competed the course in 34.44 seconds.


“I am so privileged to get to ride a horse like Ohlala. She is such a trier,” Hough said. “I have to say, I think she’s proven to really be a top international horse. She’s very small, but she doesn’t know she’s small. I think I just needed to take a little bit more pull to the last, because she’s so quick everywhere else. But I’m just thrilled with the results tonight. I’m happy to be sitting up her with the ladies.”


Reining Longines FEI World Cup Show Jumping Champion, Beezie Madden, took her turn with Coral Reef Via Volo. She posted a more conservative effort than her counterparts, but her intent was clear-accuracy over speed. Using Coral Reef Via Volo’s stride to her advantage, and knowing her mount’s weaknesses, she followed her plan for the jump off and broke the beam without fault in 35.91 seconds.


   Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo

Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo

“I was really thrilled for my horse. She’s had a great circuit,” Madden explained. “She’s done a lot of big classes for me down here. I was thrilled to end this way. I have to say, I always kind of miss Authentic when we come here. He loved this class, but she was a good stand in tonight.”


Madden secured the victory on Authentic in both 2005 and 2007, but since his retirement, Madden’s talented string of mounts has stepped up to shine.


“I was really happy with my first round. I think that was one of our best rounds yet down here,” Madden described. “I thought her rideability was great. I don’t think she touched a fence, so I was really happy with that. Last year I went to Raymond James, and she was a bit star struck in there. I was glad that she reacted well tonight.”


Madden continued, “In the jump off, I saw Lauren [Hough] go. She was very fast. I was a bit relieved that she knocked the last fence down [laughed]. Honestly, but then I thought just try to be smooth; try to be very efficient, and give the others something to catch.”


Although Pessoa attempted to catch Madden, four faults at the opening oxer of the double and a fault at the penultimate obstacle would earn him the fifth place position tonight. It wasn’t until Michaels-Beerbaum returned to the field that defeat seemed possible.


The German rider was aboard a more recent mount, Atlanta, and although this was only their second time competing under the lights and their first time in a jump off, they proved that with time they could become unstoppable. They cleared the course in 38.02 seconds without touching a rail.


   Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Atlanta

Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Atlanta

“This was the first jump off I have ever done with Atlanta. I thought I was really good one to two to three, four and the combination. I have to say, I couldn’t believe I was going as fast with her as I was because I never, ever went fast with her,” Michaels-Beerbaum said. “So then I got all nervous and started pulling on the reins and thinking, ‘I better slow down now to make sure I go clean.’ I kind of planted her under the last two fences, but she still jumped them. It was a bit messy to be honest. I was just really pleased because the horse never gave up.”


She continued, “She has no experience going fast what so ever. In fact, most of this circuit I had time faults with her. She jumped clear in some of the 1.50m events, but going fast is something that we definitely have to work on. I never really wanted to push her on time. I am just really pleased.”


Margie Engle was the final rider to go against the clock, but her choice to do eight strides to the second fence cost her the clean round she was hoping for. She ended on four faults in 36 seconds, finishing in the fourth place position. Pessoa would pick up fifth, while Shane Sweetnam and Eregast Van Kizelhoff rounded out the top six as the fastest of the four-faulters from the first round.


Madden is the fourth rider to ever take home three victories from the American Invitational. Although Madden has quite the string of horses, tonight was Coral Reef Via Volo’s time to shine under the lights, and she stepped up for the challenge.


“It’s exiting to be here in Miami,” Madden smiled. “Wellington is kind of the heart of the horse world here in Florida, and this is very close and yet special to come down here and be in a stadium like this. We were in Tampa for over four decades, it took some time to get everything figured out-what we need for horses is a little different than football. This event will only grow in prestige, and I think it is going to be fantastic.”


For more information about the 2014 $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational, presented by G & C Farm please visit


     Photo Credit: Beezie Madden produced a quick and tidy double-clear effort with Coral Reef Via Volo to win the 2014 $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational. Pictured here with G & C Farm for the presentation. All Photos By: V.Valenti/The Book LLC. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.

Photo Credit: Beezie Madden produced a quick and tidy double-clear effort with Coral Reef Via Volo to win the 2014 $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational. Pictured here with G & C Farm for the presentation. All Photos By: V.Valenti/The Book LLC. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.

2014 $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational Results

1 13 CORAL REEF VIA VOLO BEEZIE MADDEN USA 0.00 87.69 0.00 35.91


3 11 OHLALA LAUREN HOUGH USA 0.00 81.50 4.00 34.44

4 23 ROYCE MARGIE ENGLE USA 0.00 83.24 4.00 36.00





9 10 DYNAMO MEGAN NUSZ USA 4.00 87.08


11 6 TITUS 2:11 JARED PETERSON USA 5.00 89.66


2014 Live Oak International Driving and CSI2*W Showjumping Continues to Raise the Bar

March 08, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Ocala, FL (March 7, 2014) – Never has an international-level equestrian competition in the Sunshine State offered so much for so many. The Live Oak International CAI/CSI-W 2*, March 19-23, at Live Oak Plantation, will provide spectators the chance to watch some of the sport’s most celebrated equestrian athletes. Top athletes entered to compete include 2012 British Olympic Team Gold Medalist Ben Maher, 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Cian O’Connor, Olympian McLain Ward, and 10-time National Four-in-Hand Champion Chester Weber. And if all that is not enough horse power, the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales will be on display as well.

Chester Weber and his team during the 2013 Live Oak International. (Photo courtesy of

Chester Weber and his team during the 2013 Live Oak International. (Photo courtesy of

Live Oak International was selected by United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) to host Ocala’s only Showjumping World Cup qualifier of the year. New in 2014, Live Oak International and sponsor Brook Ledge Horse Transportation are promising to deliver first class treatment for competitors; equine athletes with busy schedules don’t have to miss a stride or class as Live Oak International and Brook Ledge will be providing complementary transportion for the horses between Ocala, Wellington and Miami throughout the event.

The Monday following Live Oak International, Ocala horse country will also host a $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS Post Time Farm. Ensuring that riders can compete in both competitions was paramont to the planning committee at Live Oak International. That consideration for competitors was certainly among the factors that prompted the North American Riders Group (NARG) to name Live Oak International as one of its Top Four specialty events of 2013.

The producers and hosts of Live Oak International, 10-time US National Four-in-Hand Driving Champion and USEF Board Member, Chester Weber, and his sister, Juliet W. Reid, who also serves as the Chairman of the Board for the Washington International Horse Show, are committed to the growth of top international horse sport in Ocala.  “We want to encourage participation and make it as easy as possible for Florida’s horse industry to benefit from the world class horses and riders that are so much a part of our community and way of life,” Weber, explained.

“Being selected as Ocala’s only World Cup qualifier is also an enormous honor,” Reid added. Showjumping was added to the event’s traditional combined driving program in 2012, and last March Live Oak International hosted a $50,000 CSI2* Grand Prix, won by Todd Minikus and Quality Girl.

Todd Minkus and Quality Girl on their way to the win in the $50,000 CSI2* Grand Prix during the 2013 Live Oak International. (Photo courtesy of Mark Astrom)

Todd Minkus and Quality Girl on their way to the win in the $50,000 CSI2* Grand Prix during the 2013 Live Oak International. (Photo courtesy of Mark Astrom)

With over 40 entries representing 12 countries, this year’s Live Oak International CSI-W 2* is also a qualifying event for the American Invitational on April 5, being held for the first time in Miami. Two-time Olympic show jumping course designer Leopoldo Palacios will again design the course for Live Oak International’s John Deere grand prix grass field.  In addition to the CSI-W 2*, the Live Oak International will also host a number of other jumping classes, including the $5,000 1.30m Joan Pletcher Realtor Power & Speed class, the $10,000 Waldron Wealth Management Welcome Stake, and the $34,000 CSI 2* Hollow Creek Winning Round.

Should the grass rumble beneath your feet on Thursday, March 20th or Saturday March 22nd, it’s not a Florida thunderstorm but the thunder of America’s favorite driving team: the Budweiser Clysdesdales, who will make two special appearances during Live Oak International. Spectators can get up close and personal with their favorite Superbowl commericial TV stars!

True to its roots, Live Oak International was the first to bring world-class show jumping together with world-class combined driving at one venue at one time and driving fans can still count on the most precise, most beautifully turned-out, and most bold pony and horse teams competing here.  Classes include the Yellowframe Farm Driven Dressage and Driving Obstacles, and competitors will be vying for position on the Florida Triple Crown Driving rankings.

Among the event’s leading whips last year was Florida horsewoman Misdee Wrigley-Miller, who won her first USEF National Pairs Championship title at Live Oak International.  Now, the Lakewood Ranch driver will return to Ocala to challenge 10-time National Champion Chester Weber in in the Four-in-Hand division.

Elegant marathon tailgating, trend-setting boutiques at the Vendor Village, a Kids Zone featuring a bounce house, and the Charles Owen Competitors Club assure that every Live Oak International guest – outside and inside the competition arena – finds an event and experience sure to please.

“As the Live Oak International is a family-owned and family-managed tournament on our own property, we have the ability to tailor our event to meet the needs of our competitors, spectators and sponsors. Chester and I both play several roles within the equestrian community, and we try to use our experiences in the sport to ensure that every detail is scrutinized to make the Live Oak International an event Ocala and the horse world can be proud of,” added Reid.  That’s Florida hospitality – Live Oak International style.

Admission is $10 per person, $5 for children under 12, with proceeds benefiting the Marion County Therapeutic Riding Association. For more information on the Live Oak International, including VIP Hospitality seating and sponsorship opportunities, please visit  For tailgating spaces call 352-207-3615.


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
Photo Credit: Photos © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival,, 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 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 or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Small Affair Selected as the 2013 WCHR Hunter of the Year

January 31, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

January 29, 2014, Lexington, KY- Named after a great horseman, the Peter Wetherill Cup was created in 2011 to celebrate a current equine athlete who best exemplifies the qualities of a top-class show hunter. The classic silver cup perpetual trophy is presented annually at the WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular in Wellington, FL, to the owner of the World Championship Hunter Rider Program’s Hunter of the Year.


This year’s recipient is an athletic 10 year-old bay Selle Francais gelding named Small Affair – Poker to his family and friends, whose prominent record of over 35 Champion and Reserve Champion titles in the Performance Working and Large Junior Hunter sections makes him well-deserving of the title, 2013 WCHR Hunter of the Year.

 Small Affair with John French Photo Courtesy of Shawn McMillen Photography

Small Affair with John French Photo Courtesy of Shawn McMillen Photography


As the New Year rang in, Poker had plenty to celebrate with WCHR Pro rider John French. The pair swept up Tricolors at most every prestigious event in the country: HITS Winter Circuit Champion Performance Hunter 3’6″, WCHR Professional Challenge Winner and Performance Hunter 3’6″ Champion at the Alltech National Horse Show. Junior competitor Samantha Sommers also benefited from a partnership with Poker; winning the USEF National Junior Hunter Championship-West, Large Junior Hunter Champion at Capital Challenge and Washington International Best Child Rider on a Horse honors.


“Poker is the ultimate horse and athlete. I have never once even thought about rehearsing his form over the jumps. He has never been trained on how to jump well; he just does it every time. He just knows when it is important and gives it his all. Most days I get him ready to show and he always seems to know when it’s a big class and it is important. His flatwork is all a little brighter and he’s just a little more powerful.” Elizabeth Reilly, rider and owner through 2013, added, “I am very honored for him to be chosen for this award. It is, in my opinion, the ultimate accolade for any hunter. I have had the horse for his entire professional career since he was imported from France and know the partner he has been for John and all my students, Olivia, Samantha and Lyn (Pedersen) that have had the privilege to be his teammate.”


Poker continues his winning ways, having already garnered Championship ribbons at his first events of 2014 with new owner Lyn Pedersen in the Amateur Owner Hunters. USHJA, WCHR and the USHJA Foundation wish Poker continued success throughout his career.


The WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular Week takes places February 12-16, during week six of the 2014 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL. Throughout that week, horses and riders compete to qualify for several awards and hunter classics, including the $100,000 Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular, to be held Saturday February 15, under the lights of the International Arena.


The Spectacular Hunt Gala Committee will offer an evening of fine dining and fun, complete with top-notch competition ringside at The International Club. VIP Tables of six, as well as individual tickets for the February 15 event are on sale now. A portion of the proceeds benefit the USHJA Foundation which supports programs such as the Horseman’s Assistance Fund.


For additional information and table reservations please click here or contact Leslie Mangan at (859) 225-6704.


United States Hunter Jumper Association

3870 Cigar Lane

Lexington, KY 40511

P: 859.225.6700

F: 859.258.9033