What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

Archive for February, 2011

Who is the Most Beloved Equestrian Athlete in America?

February 28, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

The clock is ticking. The buzzer sounds. Can you prove it? Actually, you can. All it takes is a $5 gift to The EQUUS Foundation and you’ll be able to “play favorites” in the nationwide fundraising effort “America’s Favorite Equestrian.” The EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) jointly launched the charitable mobile texting game in celebration of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and the eight international disciplines represented on the field of play. Now both organizations announce the expansion of the program through 2011, including multiple rounds and eliminations. The EQUUS Foundation has also pledged to award a minimum of $10,000 in grants in support of USEF programs within these eight international equestrian disciplines. The discipline generating the greatest number of votes will receive an additional $5,000 grant award for its USEF-affiliated association.


Visit the link at http://equusfoundation.org/vote. For a $5 contribution, you can select your favorite equestrian (listed by discipline) and follow the instructions provided to use mobile texting to vote. After texting your vote, you must reply YES to confirm your vote and $5 donation.

If you want to cast more than six $5 votes in a single month ($30) using your cell phone, a credit card will be required. Please review the separate instructions listed on each equestrian profile. You can also vote using an online form or vote by mail. All donations received by the EQUUS Foundation will be used in support of charitable causes.


Round 1 – Voting ends March 31, 2011. In each featured discipline, the six equestrians with the most votes will continue to Round 2.

Round 2 – Voting ends May 31, 2011. In each featured discipline, the five equestrians with the most votes will continue to Round 3.

Round 3 – Voting ends on July 31, 2011. In each featured discipline, the four equestrians with the most votes will continue to Round 4.

Round 4 – Voting ends on September 30, 2011. In each featured discipline, the three equestrians with the most votes will continue to Round 5, the final round.

Round 5 – Voting ends on October 31, 2011. America’s Favorite Equestrians will be selected based on the athletes with the highest number of votes recorded in each of the eight disciplines.


The athlete from each discipline with the most votes will join the ranks of America’s Favorite Equestrians. These winners will be announced in November 2011 at the National Horse Show, taking place at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.


America’s Favorite Equestrian is an annual interactive fundraising effort presented jointly by partnership of The EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation to honor the stars of equestrian sport in the United States and to raise funds to advance the sport.

The objective is for America’s Favorite Equestrian to be an ongoing program with all equestrian disciplines/breeds represented and the winners recognized in a permanent “Hall of Fame”. For this inaugural program, the disciplines competing in the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games were selected for the program, with the many of the equestrians selected by the respective Recognized Affiliates of USEF.

USEF Names Nations Cup Team for CSIO Wellington

February 28, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

By Joanie Morris for USEF

Lexington, KY – The following horse/rider combinations have been named by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) to represent the U.S. in America’s only Nations Cup which will be held in Wellington, FL on March 4, as part of CSIO Wellington. The Palm Beach International Equestrian Club’s International Arena will host some of the best horse/rider combinations from across the globe as they vie for top honors in the $75,000 FEI Nations Cup presented by G&C Farm.

Photo by Shannon Brinkman for USEF

The United States will be represented by:


Mario Deslauriers/46/New York, NY/Urico/10/Dutch Warmblood/Gelding/Jane F. Clark

Margie Engle/52/Wellington, FL/Indigo/11/Dutch Warmblood/Gelding/Gladewinds Farm and Margie Engle

Beezie Madden/47/Cazenovia, NY/Coral Reef Via Volo/13/Belgian Warmblood/Mare/Coral Reef Ranch

McLain Ward/35/Brewster, NY/Sapphire/16/Belgian Warmblood/Mare/Rider, Tom Grossman and Blue Chip Bloodstock

George Morris will serve as the Chef d’Equipe.

Be part of the action and attend the Nations Cup to cheer on the U.S. Team to victory. Tickets are available in the USA section and include an autograph sign

ing with Laura Kraut and Charlie Jayne, refreshments and a USA fan pack. Don’t miss the chance to support the home team. Go to www.equestriansport.com and click on ‘Buy Tickets’ for details.

If South Florida isn’t on the itinerary for next weekend, watch the Nations Cup LIVE on USEF Network. Visit www.usefnetwork.com for a broadcast schedule and details.

For more information, please contact USEF Director, Show Jumping High Performance Activities Lizzy Chesson at lchesson@usef.org

Tickets Available for Nations Cup!

February 24, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Show your support for the U.S. Nations Cup Team at CSIO Wellington on March 4 by joining the United States Equestrian Federation as part of the USA Cheering Section. World-class Show Jumping riders will take to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Club to compete for top honors in the $75,000 FEI Nations Cup presented by G&C Farm; the only Nations Cup that takes place in the United States.

Purchase tickets for the USA Cheering Section and show your support for the US Team! When you purchase tickets, you can take part in an autograph session with top Team riders, access to refreshments during the night’s competition, and you will also receive a commemorative gift pack, as well as seating in the U.S. Section with other Team USA supporters.  Be a part of hundreds of U.S. Show Jumping fans sporting red, white and blue.

Purchase your tickets now and secure your spot as a member of the Team USA Cheering Section. This will be a night of fun, festivities and world-class jumping!

To purchase your tickets go to http://www.equestriansport.com/ and click on BUY TICKETS.

-Joanie Morris for USEF

USEF Search Committee Formed to Find 2013 Jumping Chef d’Equipe

February 17, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Lexington, KY– The U.S. Show Jumping program will undergo significant change in 2013, when legendary Chef d’Equipe George H. Morris will retire from his position. He has led the U.S. Team to back-to-back Team Gold medals at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games and Team Silver at the 2006 World Equestrian Games.  The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has formed a Search Committee to identify candidates to succeed Morris.

The Show Jumping Chef d’Equipe Search Committee members are:

Chairman: Eric Straus, New Canaan, CT

Rich Fellers, Wilsonville, OR

Anne Kursinski, Flemington, NJ

Beezie Madden, Cazenovia, NY

George Morris, Wellington, FL

Karen O’Connor, The Plains, VA

Will Simpson, Thousand Oaks, CA

The Search Committee members were appointed by USEF CEO John Long and based on recommendations from the USEF Show Jumping Eligible Athlete and High Performance Committees.

The Search Committee held its first organizational meeting this week and determined that Open Forums will be held this spring to solicit input regarding a job description.

The Search Committee will then develop a job description and timeline which will be posted.  Interested individuals will then be invited to apply.  


For more information, please contact Lizzy Chesson, USEF Director High Performance Jumping at


or Eric Straus, Chairman of the Show Jumping Chef d’Equipe Search Committee at


Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Announces New Show Dates

February 17, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

The Tryon Riding & Hunt Club has announced three additional show dates to their summer show calendar.  TR&HC is working with managers JP Godard and Lewis Pack to produce 3 consecutive weeks of showing in June as well as 3 consecutive weeks in July.

1st Annual Tryon Summer Premiere

May 26-29 @ Harmon Field

$1,000 Puissance

$2,500 Hunter ‘Derby’ Classic

Hunter Breeding

Equus Events’ Tryon Summer Classic – June 2-5th @ FENCE

$5,000 Charity Pro/Am Jumper Challenge, teams of two will ride to earn funds for local charities.

83rd Annual TR&HC Charity Horse Show

June 8-12 @ FENCE

$25,000 Grand Prix

$1,500 Hunter ‘Derby’ Classic

9th Annual TR&HC Charity Horse Show II

July 6-10 @ FENCE

$15,000 Grand Prix

$1,500 Hunter ‘Derby’ Classic

1st Annual Charity Horse Show III

July 14-17 @ FENCE

$5,000 Jumper Classic

1st Annual Junior/Amateur Classic

July 23-24 @ Harmon Field

2010 Grand Prix winner

The Summer Premiere and Junior/Amateur shows will mark the return of the TR&HC to historic Harmon Field. The Tryon Horse show was run for 34 years in the original grass ring surrounded by boxwood hedges at Harmon Field before moving to FENCE in 1985.

Jumping at Harmon Field

The managers of FENCE have been hard at work renovating the lower barns of the facility. A fresh coat of stain has been applied and the stalls have been leveled with brand new mats installed!

All of the horse shows are USEF ‘A’ rated. Stalls reservations are being accepted now.

Another exciting announcement for the club is that the TR&HC Horse Trials, which run October 1st & 2nd at FENCE, have been chosen to host the Eastern Region event of the Chronicle of the Horse/USEA Adult Team Challenge. The Horse Trials offers rated competition for Beginner Novice through Intermediate.

The Tryon Riding & Hunt Club is a non-profit (501c3) organization celebrating 85 years of supporting and preserving the equestrian tradition in Polk County and Upstate South Carolina region. With funds raised from successful events, including the Block House Steeplechase, nationally accredited Horse Shows, Horse Trials and the Any & All Dog Show. Tryon Riding & Hunt Club has contributed over a half million dollars to the community in the last five years.

For more information regarding events please call 828-859-6109 or visit www.trhcevents.org.

Get Ready for Derby Cross!

February 07, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

(Vero Beach, FL) – The Professional Riders Organization is pleased to announce that its inaugural PRO Derby Cross Team Competition will take place at the International Equestrian Center of Palm Beach, Saturday March, 5th at 5:30 PM as a prelude to the Hermes Puissance Class held during the Wellington Equestrian Festival’s prestigious Nation’s Cup weekend.

PRO Derby Cross is a hybridized form of interactive entertainment and sporting competition designed to showcase some of the best equestrian talent in the United States and Canada.  Olympian Leslie Law (Team GBR) and World Equestrian Games Competitor Boyd Martin (Team USA) host the two and a half hour team competition.

Five teams of five riders, three event riders, one show jumper and one polo player, will compete over a three-minute course designed by Olympic Gold Medalist David O’Connor. The course will ask horses and riders to be brave over the cross-country fences and accurate over show jumps all while competing against the clock.

Team Captains have selected a talented squad of event riders, show jumpers and polo players with the intent to win the inaugural PRO Derby Cross Team Competition hosted by event riders Leslie Law and Boyd Martin.

Team HAYGAIN: Captain Phillip Dutton (E); Sinead Halpin (E), Jennie Brannigan (E), Katie Prudent (SJ) and Nic Roldan (P)

Team FarmVet/Cavalor: Captain Buck Davidson (E), Bruce Davidson (E), Will Faudree (E), Aaron Vale (SJ) and Kris Kampsen (P)

Team O’Connor: Captain Karen O’Connor (E), Clark Montgomery (E), Hannah Sue Burnett (E), Laura Kraut (SJ) and John Gobin (P)

Team Triple Crown: Captain Allison Springer (E), Marcia Kulak (E), Will Coleman (E), Georgina Bloomberg (SJ) and Luis Escobar (P)

Team Canada: Captain Kyle Carter (E), Rebecca Howard (E), Jessica Phoenix (E), Ian Millar (SJ) and Brandon Phillips (P)

Triple Crown Nutrition was the first company to sponsor PRO Derby Cross: “When Marcia Kulak asked us to get involved with PRO Derby Cross, she knew it would be a perfect fit,” said Michelle Mulcahy of Triple Crown Nutrition.  “All of us at Triple Crown Nutrition are so excited to be able to support this fresh, innovative format that will be showcasing some of the best riders in the country”.

Patrons tickets are available for the Calcutta Welcome Party presented by Windsor on Friday March 4, 5-7 PM at the White Horse Tavern in Wellington, Florida and the Wellington Equestrian Realty PRO Derby Cross Marquee on Saturday March 5, from 5:00 PM with full dinner and cocktails. For reservations please call: Samantha Lendl, 772 633-6129. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Operation Homefront.

DerbyCross History: DerbyCross (www.derbycross.com) was conceived and developed by advanced level eventing competitors, Rebecca Howard and Sinead Halpin, and Dana Voorhees, an avid amateur competitor and owner of Van Productions.  This new equine sport combines the speed and accuracy of show jumping and the bravery and endurance of cross-country, showcased in a spectator-friendly format. The inaugural event took place in July of 2006 at Great Meadow Polo Club, in The Plains, Virginia. In 2010 DerbyCross joined the Professional Riders Organization to create PRO DerbyCross.

The PRO Derby Cross Teams are captained by: Phillip Dutton, Buck Davidson, Karen O’Connor, Kyle Carter and Allison Springer.  Joining them are internationally renowned show jumpers: Katie Prudent, Laura Kraut, Aaron Vale and Georgina Bloomberg.  Event riders include legend Bruce Davidson, long time Wellington resident Marcia Kulak and up and coming riders from the United States and Canada: Will Faudree, Sinead Halpin, Rebecca Howard, Will Coleman, Jessica Phoenix, Hannah Sue Burnett, Jennie Brannigan and Clark Montgomery. Polo players will be announced shortly.

Sidelines Tetrathlon Presented By FarmVet Raises More Than $100,000 To Help Those in Need

February 04, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

WELLINGTON, Fla. – Presenting sponsor FarmVet edged out Team MeadowView to win the 2011 Sidelines Tetrathlon Presented by FarmVet on Jan. 30, at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. More than 500 people came together for an evening of friendly competition, great food and exceptional auction items, to raise more than $100,000 to benefit the Equestrian Aid Foundation (EAF). The EAF helps equestrians, horsemen and equine professionals who are suffering from catastrophic illnesses or injuries during their time of need.

Ashley Holzer rides a reiner during the Sidelines Tetrathlon. Photo ©Emily Allongo

“It’s been more than three years since the last Sidelines Triathlon and we’ve successfully brought it back to a higher level of competition by adding the all-American sport of reining,” said R. Scot Evans, president of the EAF. “The overwhelming support from the community for the vision of event planner Sean O’Keefe of Sean O’Keefe Events, which specializes in fundraising events for nonprofits, we were given the resources to create a fun-filled evening that also successfully raised necessary funds for those in our community who need our help.”

Tetrathlon Competition

Master of Ceremonies Brian Lookabill added commentary to the competition, which included dressage, show jumping, polo and reining. Riders showed world-class talent as they performed in disciplines not their own.

Team sponsors and riders:

FarmVet: Ashley Holzer, Candice King, Whistle Uys, Christian Currey

MeadowView: Katherine Bateson-Chandler, Will Simpson, Brandon Phillips, Seth Ingram

MooreBroker Realty/Hunt Ltd.: Mary Ann Grant, Nick Dello Joio, Mauricio Devrient, Lauri Ingram

Palm Beach Equine Clinic: Olivia Swerdlin, Bob Kraut, Tommy Biddle, Jon Ingram

After the gambler’s choice jumping, each rider scored an extra 200 points for successfully clearing the joker jump positioned within a few feet of the first row of tables! The dressage highlight featured Pop Art ridden by Ashley Holzer’s teammate Candice King.

“I thought the entire event captured not only a spirit of fun and camaraderie, but also how much all of us in the horse industry, regardless of our personal riding discipline, love and support each other,” said Jane Savoie, who shared her dressage judging duties with husband Rhett and announcing with Brian O’Connor.

The reining competition, judged by Jessica Niles, held some great rides and gave everyone a reason to whoop and holler. Polo turned out to be a participation opportunity for all when the inflatable indoor polo ball left the arena and landed in the audience! Ultimately, all riders were successful in their newly found disciplines and created a scoring tie for Teams FarmVet and MeadowView, with the others close behind. In accordance with the rules, the tie was broken by the winner of polo – Team FarmVet!

“Everyone was a winner tonight,” said Christian Currey, owner of the winning team and presenting sponsor Farmvet. “We’re very excited about the huge turn out for EAF.  I know all the competitors had a blast and I hope we raised a lot of money to help EAF!”

The competition was managed by Premier Sport Services.

Event sponsors included:

Sidelines, FarmVet, MeadowView, MooreBroker Realty, Hunt Ltd., Palm Beach Equine Clinic, Ingram Training Stable, Frank Madden Show Stable, Inc., Air & Power Solutions, Event Studio Productions, Wellington-WEF.com, Polo Gear USA, Panache, Wellington Equestrian Classifieds, Weigh-To-Go mobile horse weighing service, Kate Byars Photography, Sidelines Barn Book, Potions in Motion, Charles Owen, Rums of Puerto Rico, Pana Cavallo, International Polo Club-Palm Beach, Fame Dance and Performing Arts, Premier Sport Services, Nikko Entertainment and Sean O’Keefe Events.

Fun and Games

Throughout the night, guests had the opportunity to participate in games to win fabulous prizes. The night started with the Charles Owen-sponsored “No Brainer” game where participants bought raffle tickets to guess which of 10 helmets held the winning polo ball. The winner received a custom Charles Owen helmet. The Weigh To Go “Guess the Weight of the Horse” had people speculating the horse’s weight before walking him onto the Weigh To Go mobile scale. The winner received an EquiFit product basket. To win a Grill Dome barbeque smoker, participants purchased an Equestrian Aid Foundation band and played a spirited game of Simon Says.

During the competition intermission, guests were treated to a cowboy-themed song and yodel by 9-year-old 2010 Palm Beach Idol winner Jade Master. Jade was then joined by reining horses galloping in the arena and nearly 50 dancers, including guests and EAF board members, to perform a choreographed number to Flo Rida’s Right Round. Amber of Fame Dance and Performing Arts in Wellington, choreographed the dance and held daily practices for dancers and non-dancers alike.


Guests had the opportunity to bid on everything from diamond jewelry to exotic vacations. Popular items included a Zulu Nyala African safari, a culinary experience with Sean O’Keefe and autographed memorabilia donated by Bruce Springsteen. Also auctioned for reining enthusiasts was a two-day stay at the ranch of USEF Horseman of the Year Tom and Mandy McCutcheon, including instruction with Tom and his team riding one of Turnabout’s horses and tours of other top training and breeding facilities.

Auction items were donated by:

Badgley Mischka, Bamboo Studio, Barnes and Noble, Beef Wellington, Bobbi Braun, Bruce Springsteen, C.M. Hadfield’s Saddlery, Campagnolo Trattoria, Charles Owen, Donovan Designs, Dover Saddlery, Elegante Polo, Emerald Valley Natural Health, EquiFit, FarmVet, Field of Greens, Finish Line, Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, Freedom Health/SUCCEED, GoIncentives, Gracie Street Interior Design Inc., Hunt Ltd., Grill Dome, H.E. Sutton Forwarding Company, LLC, Handsome Hands, Idlewild Furnishing, Ingram Training Stables, Iron Spring Farm, Interiors-Morgan City, Louisiana, Jae’s Gems, Kate Byars Photography, Kelly Barnes, Masterpiece Investments, McLelland’s Saddlery, Miele, Mimi’s Swan, Nicola Godfrey Tile, Oli’s, On Course Consignment and Caitlin Young, Palm Beach Equine Medical Center, Pangea Bistro, PJ Saddles, Polo Gear, Potions in Motion, Regency Fine Art, Savida Sangria, Sean O’Keefe Events, Sid Maurer, Sidelines, Susan Easton Burns, Taylor Made Café, The Dressage Connection, The Moriah Company, The Sport Horse, Tom and Mandy McCutcheon and Turnabout Farm, U Shoe Crazy, Van Dell Jewelers, Whole Foods and Zulu Nyala.

Taste of Charity dinner

Taste of Charity, a unique concept created by Sean O’Keefe Events, brings together area restaurants to offer guests a wide variety of culinary specialties. Participating area restaurants and caterers donated food and staff to deliver exceptional meals for every palette. The goal is to experience many restaurants that guests may not have tried that they can visit and enjoy long after the event is over.

Participating restaurants include: The Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, Field of Greens, Oli’s Fashion Cuisine & Bar, Taylor Made Cafe, Potions in Motion, Top Notch Caterers, Campagnolo Trattoria, International Polo Club Catering, Beef Wellington Steakhouse and Social Club, Miele, Grill Dome, White Horse Tavern, Potions in Motion Catering, South Florida’s Hottest Chefs, Christy’s NY Cheesecake, and www.southfloridadines.com.

The guests were greeted at the door with wine and champagne sponsored by Barefoot Wine and Bubbly. Mixed and specialty drinks were provided by Potions in Motion, Savida Sangria and the Rums of Puerto Rico. All the food was served on biodegradable, “green” bamboo plates, bowls and utensils donated by Bamboo Studio.

Sean O’Keefe Events

The tetrathlon is managed and produced by Sean O’Keefe Events, which specializes in nonprofit fundraising events.  Visit www.seanokeefeevents.com for more information.

About the Equestrian Aid Foundation:

In 1996 the Equestrian AIDS Foundation was established to assist those with HIV/Aids. Recognizing a broader need, the organization changed its name and mission. The Equestrian Aid Foundation’s mission is to build a membership based organization to assist anyone in the equestrian world suffering from life threatening illness, catastrophic accidents or injuries by providing financial assistance for their medical or other basic needs. It is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization that provides grant recipients funding for medical, healthcare, rehabilitation and essential expenses, such as housing and food throughout their time of need. To learn more about the EAF, visit www.equestrianaidfoundation.org.

The Dressage Affaire is Coming!

February 03, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Guenter Seidel at the Dressage Affaire

KP Events will be hosting The Dressage Affaire CDI WYJ and CPEDI3* on March 11-13th, 2011 in Del Mar, California.  This competition will qualify riders for World Cup and the Pan Am Games and serve as a qualifier for NAJYRC Championships, USEF HP National Championships and Brentina and Young Horse Championships. It will also be a qualifier for the 2012 Olympics for the Para Equestrian Division.

Riders from the western half of the United States will be present and will have representation from Canada, Mexico, Spain and Germany as well.  Spectators can enjoy box seats for this International Competition with Judge’s commentary throughout the show.

The Saturday Night Affaire is a favorite for competitors and sponsors featuring a full dinner and dance party and no host bar.  Open to the public for $30.00/person.

For more information, please visit our website at www.dressageevents.com or contact Kim Keenan Stordahl at kkeenan@dressageevents.com or 866-933-SHOW

Introducing the NARG Top 25 of 2010!

February 02, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

The North American Riders Group numerically evaluated the best horse shows in North America. Via a collective and unified voice of top riders and trainers, the goal of the NARG Top 25 aligns with the mission to make show jumping in North America rank among the greatest in the world.

For more information visit www.narg.org.

1. Spruce Meadows

2. Syracuse Invitational

3. Hampton Classic

4. WEF

5. Xalapa (Mexico)

6. Del Mar National

7. Pennsylvania National

8. Balvanera

9. The Royal

10. Devon

11. Pin Oak


13. HITS Million

14. Washington International

15. Lake Placid

16. Blenheim

17. KY Spring

18. Capital Challenge

19. Gold Cup

20. Horse Shows By The Bay

21. Fidelity Jumper Classic

22. HITS Desert Circuit Thermal

23. Del Mar Show Park

24. Traders Point

25. Los Angeles National