What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

Archive for September, 2010

UAE Wins Endurance Team Gold; Only One US Rider Completes Race

September 27, 2010 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Sidelines doesn’t normally cover endurance, but anyone who completes -or even attempts to complete- a 100 mile ride in just 8 hours deserves our attention! The press release and photos below are courtesy of USEF and the FEI. A special congratulations to Deborah Reich, the only US rider who completed the race, proving once again that endurance racing is HARD!

Deborah Reich and DJB Juniper. Photo by Shannon Brinkman for USEF.

by Erica Larson for USEF

Lexington, KY – The endurance race at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games kicked off at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday as 108 horse-and-rider combinations headed out on the six-loop track, all hoping to be the first to finish at the end of the day.  The day started out cool and breezy but ended up being perfect weather for an endurance competition.

Five U.S. endurance combinations started the race. However, two of them – Lindsay Graham’s horse, Monk (an eight-year-old Arabian gelding owned by Chris Martin), and Dr. Margaret Sleeper’s horse, Syrocco Harmony (an eight-year-old Arabian gelding), were eliminated for metabolic reasons.  Janice Worthington’s Golden Lightning (a 10-year-old Arabian gelding) was eliminated due to lameness.

The sole finisher for the U.S. was Deborah Reich and her mare eight-year-old Arabian mare, DJB Juniper.  Originally the team alternate, the pair finished the race in 8 hours, 42 minutes and 55 seconds, finishing in 18th place.

“We were in the front groups for about the first half,” Reich said. “She got a little tired on the fifth loop.  But then she was crewed so well that I think she got a second wind and finished the race really strong.”

After being named to the team, Reich trained in Kentucky for a month before the Games. This was Reich’s first World Equestrian Games.

“It was really special to be able to ride here in Kentucky, and I really got to appreciate the beauty of it.  It’s been great to work as a team,” she said. “I am honored to have been picked.  I really believed that I had a horse that could help our team.”

Heather Reynolds and Ssamiam crossed the finish line in fourth place, but were spun after “Sam” did not pass the final examination.

“If this were a horse I expected to come here and do great things with, I would probably be crying right now,” Reynolds said after her ride. “But this is a young horse.  I’m so proud of him right now, and I think he’s an exciting horse for the future.”

Monday morning, after the test of the endurance race, all of the horses were examined and all of the U.S. horses were found to be in good shape. The riders are looking forward to their next race.

Spanish rider Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton won her second consecutive WEG gold medal riding Nobby. Photo by Kit Houghton/FEI

Taking home the Individual Gold medal was Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton of Spain and her long time partner, Nobby.  The pair led through much of the day and crossed the finish line with a total ride time of 7 hours, 35 minutes and 44 seconds.  This is the second consecutive WEG Gold Medal for the pair.

For me, he is the best horse,” she said after her ride.  “He has a great heart and recovery time, but what won the race today was his mind.  He has a great mind.”

Finishing just behind them in the Silver-medal position was HH Sheik Mohammad bin Rashid al Maktoum and his flashy chestnut, Ciel Oriental of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  The pair finished the course with a total ride time of 7 hours, 36 minutes and 39 seconds.

“I had a great ride,” the Sheik said. “I just took care of my horse and he finished the race strong.”

Finally, in the Individual Bronze-medal position was HE Sheik Hamdan Mohammad al Maktoum and SAS Alexis (UAE).  The pair hustled at the end to complete the course in 7 hours, 36 minutes and 56 seconds.

In the Team competition, the riders from the UAE had the fastest total time and took home the Team Gold medal.  The total ride time was 23 hours, 53 minutes and 36 seconds for the team members were HE Sheik Hamdan Mohammad al Maktoum aboard SAS Alexis, HE Sheik Majid Mohammad al Maktoum aboard Kangoo D’Aurabelle and Sheik Rashid Dalmook al Maktoum aboard Rukban Dikruhu Mmn.

The Team Silver medal was awarded to France with a total time of 24 hours, 49 minutes and 46 seconds.  The team was made up of Sarah Chakil aboard Sakalia, Virginie Atger aboard Azim du Florival and Cecile Miletto Mosti aboard Easy Fortnoire.

Team Germany rallied near the end to take home the Bronze medal.  With a total ride time of 25 hours, 34 minutes and 16 seconds, the team was comprised of Gabriela Forster aboard Priceless Gold, Sabrina Arnold aboard Beau Ox and Belinda Hitzler aboard Shagar.

Only five horses were presented at the judging for the coveted title of Best Conditioned Horse this morning.  After inspecting the competitors, the judges decided that Hanaba du Bois, ridden by Jean-Philippe Frances from France, would be awarded the title.

Start of the endurance with the eventual winner Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton and Nobby in blue at the front. Photo by Kit Houghton/FEI

USA Team Wins Third Consecutive Gold Medal at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™

September 27, 2010 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Shawn Flarida (USA) captured the individual first place ranking on RC Fancy Step at the Reining World Championships presented by John Deere at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
The USA team captured its third straight gold medal Sunday, this time on home turf.  The Reining World Championships were presented by John Deere in the Alltech Arena as part of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, USA.
The Belgium team medaled in reining for the first time and took silver.
Italy, on the medal stand for the third time in World Equestrian Games’ history, secured third place.
Final Results- Reining
Individual – 1, RC Fancy Step (Shawn Flarida) USA 227.0; 2, Yellow Jersey (Stefano Massignan) ITA; Gunners Special Nite (Tom McCutcheon) USA, 224.0; 4, Mister Montana Nic (Craig Schmersal) USA; BA Reckless Chick (Bernard Fonck) BEL 223.5.
Teams – 1, USA  674.5; 2, Belgium 659.0; 3, Italy 655.5; 4, Austria 635.5; 5, Canada 652.5.

Mary Lou Harrington Ross

September 14, 2010 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Mary Lou, 56, passed from this life on Sunday, September 5 at home in Dallas after a long struggle with COPD. She leaves behind her husband, Gregory Ross, of Santa Fe, New Mexico; niece, Emily Eikenburg and partner April Miller of Dallas; sister Constance Harrington Coolik of Plano and aunt Mary Alice Phillips of Dallas. She was preceded in death by her mother, Kitty Mattison Harrington, father Conner Harrington, mayor of Plano at his death in 1970; and, cousin Laurel Sage Harrington Morris.  She was the grand daughter of the late Gladys Bishop Haggard Harrington of Plano.

She also leaves first cousins Cynthia Harrington (Dan) and Laurel Hunter Harrington Morris of Blue Ridge, Fred Joseph Harrington of Plano, Dr. Jim Blalock (Debbie) of Oklahoma City, Dr. Bob Blalock (Claudia) of Dallas, and a host of dear and lifelong friends.

Mary Lou was a sixth generation resident of Plano, Texas and was witness to and a significant part of its history.  She was an active in government and civic affairs, having been on the board of directors of the Crisis Center of Collin County, Live From Plano, Plano Junior League and various other groups and organizations. She was a member of the Ladies Polo Auxiliary of Texas.

Mary Lou was instrumental in recruiting J.C. Penney’s to move its headquarters from New York City to Plano.  “Ya’ll come, and bring your momma and papa and cousins too” was the cry. Penney’s move was much talked about in the New York press and Mary Lou and a group of Plano supporters descended upon the city, making public appearances and sparring with radio disc jockeys, selling New Yorkers on Plano Texas.

That Boz Scaggs, of Plano, babysat her portended the rock and roll life that Mary Lou would have.  She was married to Steve Miller’s personal assistant, traveled with the Steve Miller Band for years and personally knew many musicians of the 70’s and 80’s. Steve McCarty, who co-wrote Fly Like an Eagle and Wild Mountain Honey will perform at her Santa Fe Celebration of Life.

Mary Lou retired from real estate development to Santa Fe, New Mexico where she and her attorney husband Gregory were active in the artistic, equestrian and legal communities.  She was equally at ease in the boardroom and the kitchen.  She was renowned for her hospitality and was every inch the consummate Texas lady – strong yet graceful, loving and welcoming.  Her annual Governor’s Cup polo party

and New Years Day black eyed pea brunches were not to be missed.  She would prepare for weeks for hunt breakfasts in the field for the Juan Tomas Hounds.  Mary Lou exuded love, caring and kindness.

A celebration of her life will be held in Santa Fe on September 19.  A memorial will be held at the First Christian Church of Plano on October 2, 2010 at 10:30 a.m.  Her ashes will be interred in Plano Mutual Cemetery.


September 02, 2010 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Festival ramps up for its opening day September 25, 2010

Lexington, KY (August 30, 2010) – In the spirit of the proud tradition established by previous host cities, the International Equestrian Festival welcomes visitors to downtown Lexington for a celebration worthy of the “Horse Capital of the World.” The Festival, which takes place at the Lexington Convention Center September 25 – October 10, offers something for everyone – from the experienced equestrian to the casual observer.   Tickets are available at the door – $5 for a one-day pass, or $8 for multi-day pass.


The International Equestrian Festival, presented by HRTV, will be bustling with activity from 1 p.m. – 9 p.m. daily.                 .

  • International Shopping Expo of more than 200 exhibitors
  • Hollywood Casino Hospitality Atrium
  • Ecotrack Park horse demonstrations
  • Educational seminars
  • Horse breed and association appreciation days and demonstrations
  • Equestrian celebrities including Clinician Julie Goodnight, Monty Roberts,

Mark Peterson & Dusty, Biomechanics Expert Colleen Kelly, Trainer Rex

Peterson, Singer & Songwriter Templeton Thompson.

Please visit www.internationalequestrianfestival.com for a complete schedule of events.