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Archive for March, 2011

Wellington Classic Dressage, Palm Beach Dressage Derby, GCDA and IHS Palm Beach Affirm Commitment to Keep Dressage at Jim Brandon and Equestrian Estates

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

Wellington, FL – March 28, 2011 – Wellington Classic Dressage (WCD), Gold Coast Dressage, Palm Beach Dressage Derby and International Horse Sport Palm Beach (IHSPB) announce their 2012 USEF-Licensed Dressage Shows set to remain at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center and Equestrian Estates Horse Park, home of the prestigious Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDIW.


Equestrian Sports Productions(ESP), which manages the Winter Equestrian Festival hunter/jumper series and Wellington Equestrian Partners recently announced plans for construction of a new dressage venue at the former Palm Beach Polo Stadium in Wellington, a project that may take years to complete, and one that many say conflicts with current zoning & development restrictions. Current plans call for the addition of a winter dressage series, despite the fact that their dressage shows had declined in favor in recent years, and they cancelled all three of their 2011 season shows. This current campaign to add the dressage series and raise sponsorship funds is being led by Robert Dover, and there is much confusion as several of the show dates they propose to run are already established CDI and USEF-licensed competitions set for WCD, GCDA and IHS for their 2012 winter season.


“There has been a rumor that we are working with ESP to bring our well-established USEF Licensed Shows, and CDI’s to a proposed new venue but that’s simply NOT true,” said Noreen O’Sullivan, President of Gold Coast Dressage Association and managing partner for WCD and IHS Palm Beach.  “We are absolutely committed to support both the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center and Equestrian Estates by maintaining our World-Class CDI’s, as well as our national, USEF-licensed competitions at these 2 venues.” Mary Anne Mc Phail, President of the Palm Beach Dressage Derby, echoes O’Sullivan’s statement, “We absolutely are hosting the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDIW and the Equestrian Estates shows here at the Equestrian Estates Horse Park.”  The Palm Beach Dressage Derby is one of Florida’s most prestigious and longest-running CDI competitions.


The Wellington Classic Dressage series, which this past year included the World Dressage Master’s CDI5*(a show which ESP cancelled in December 2011, citing financial concerns), has played a leading role in developing Florida’s successful winter dressage circuit. Wellington Classic and Gold Coast call the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center 111-acre park home for over 16 weeks of Dressage Competitions throughout the year. International Horse Sport Palm Beach continues the legacy of the Derby and Dressage at the Equestrian Estates shows with their 6-week series of USEF-licensed shows and CDI’s.  This season kicked off major expansion plans and improvements to this 50-acre venue, which already includes 9 all-weather riding rings. Combined WCD, GCDA and IHSPB hosted six CDI competitions during the 2011 winter season and O’Sullivan said they have every intention of continuing to host and manage these same CDI competitions and nationally-rated shows in their dressage series.


Those involved with WCD, GCDA and The Derby have worked extremely hard over many years to make Florida the center of dressage in the winter season by providing back-to-back international-caliber competitions. We are proud of the fact that we have built such a strong foundation for World-Class dressage competition in the Palm Beach region that others now want part of the action. It is our intention to continue to do what we’ve been doing for years – provide quality dressage competitions that cater to the needs of both amateur as well as professional riders.” O’Sullivan said. “We are grateful to the riders and sponsors who have provided us with such strong support over the years. With their continued support, we expect that our shows will only get better each year regardless of what other show competitions might emerge. We view the riders as our partners and will continue to do our best to provide them dressage competitions that not only of the highest quality but that also responsive to their needs and desires.”


For more information on the Gold Coast Dressage Association, please visit www.gcdafl.org.  For more information on the Wellington Classic Dressage Series, please visit www.wellingtonclassicdressage.com.  For more information on the International Horse Sport Palm Beach show series, please visit www.ihspb.com.


2012 Show Schedule: SHOW  LOCATION  DATE


Wellington Classic Dressage   Jim Brandon  January 6-8, 2012

WCD IHS Dressage Premiere   Equestrian Estates January 12-15, 2012

Gold Coast Opener CDIW    Jim Brandon  January 19-22, 2012

Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge  Jim Brandon  January 26-29, 2012

Wellington Classic Spring Challenge CDIW  Jim Brandon  February 9-11, 2012

International Horse Sport FEI Derby   Equestrian Estates February 18, 2012

Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDIW   Equestrian Estates March 1-4, 2012

Wellington Classic Challenge II CDI3*  Jim Brandon  March 8-11, 2012

World Dressage Masters CDI5*   Jim Brandon  March 8-11, 2012

Gold Coast Dressage March Schooling  Jim Brndon  March 18, 2012

International Horse Sport Champions Cup CDIW Equestrian Estates March 22-25, 2012

Dressage At Equestrian Estates   Equestrian Estates Mar 29-April 1, 2012

Gold Coast Grand Finale I & II   Jim Brandon  April 14-15, 2012

International Horse Sport Blue Hors Invitational Equestrian Estates April 20-22, 2012

Wellington Classic Dressage Challenge III  Jim Brandon  April 28-29, 2012

Gold Coast May Dressage    Jim Brandon  May 19-20, 2012

Gold Coast June Schooling    Jim Brandon  June 17, 2012

Wellington Classic Dressage In Tropics I & II  Jim Brandon  July 21-22, 2012

Gold Coast August Schooling   Jim Brandon  August 19, 2012

Wellington Classic Fall Challenge I & II  Jim Brandon  September 15-16, 2012

Gold Coast October Schooling   Jim Brandon  October 7, 2012

Wellington Classic Autumn Challenge  Jim Brandon  October 20-21, 2012

Gold Coast Fall Fling    Jim Brandon  November 10-11, 2012

Wellington Classic Holiday Challenge  Jim Brandon  December 8-9, 2012


Press release courtesy of PhelpsSports.com

Dressage Riders Will Raise the Bar at Upcoming Festival of the Horse CDI-W/Y/J in Burbank, CA

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

By Yellow Horse Marketing for Cornerstone Event Management

BURBANK, CA – As Pan American Games fever is sweeping the nation, and winter-weary horses and riders feel the warmth of spring fever, next week’s Festival of the Horse CDI-W/Y/J competition will showcase the best of California dressage at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, CA, March 30 – April 3, 2011.  The level of competition will be high: with over 200 horses entered, more than half will be competing in FEI-level tests, and 65 will contest the international CDI portion of the show. “This is the largest CDI we’ve ever had,” notes competition manager Glenda McElroy.

With two arenas devoted to FEI-level competition, there will be plenty to watch as exhibitors ride in front of an esteemed international panel of judges, including Linda Zang (5* USA); Cara Whitham (5* USA); Jean Michel-Roudier (5* FRA); Eddy de Wolff (4* NED); Jeanne McDonald (4* USA); and Charlotte Bredahl-Baker (3* USA). More than thirty horse/rider combinations from the United States and Canada will be competing for the hottest ticket in town – a spot on their nation’s team at the Pan American Games in Mexico this fall.  In addition, Grand Prix riders, including Jan Ebeling and David Wightman, will pursue final qualification for next month’s Reem Acra/FEI World Cup Dressage Finals in Europe, while highly-competitive fields of Young Riders and Juniors will vie for scores for the NAJYRC and Festival of Champions.  Always a spectator favorite, musical freestyle classes will be showcased on Sunday, April 3 in the Large Oval from 10am to 3pm.

Adding to the show festivities, LA Saddlery and Prestige® will sponsor a wine and cheese party for exhibitors on Friday, April 1.  Prestige® Italia saddle designer Roberto Rasia will be on site throughout the competition to talk to exhibitors about the Prestige® models, and will present a new saddle to the winner of the Pan American Games-qualifying CDI Intermediaire-I class on Saturday, April 2.

In addition to intense competition for riders inside the show ring, Markel Insurance will present a free educational seminar, “Mastering Good Horsemanship”, with speaker Gil Merrick.  This special opportunity for exhibitors to learn skills to be the best they can in both riding and life will be available free of charge at designated times throughout the show.

Another highlight of the competition will be the return of “The Retreat”, a special hospitality area for exhibitors sponsored by the Lisa Seger Equine Insurance Agency. This popular lounge area will once again offer complimentary refreshments and an opportunity for riders, owners, and grooms to check scores, socialize, and utilize free Wi-Fi service.

The Festival of the Horse CDI-W/Y/J is an official qualifying competition for the Reem Acra/FEI Dressage World Cup Finals and the Pan American Games, in addition to the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Champions (Pony Rider, Junior, Young Rider, and Brentina Cup divisions); NAJYRC; Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program; and the USEF Developing Horse division (sponsored by Dutta & PSI).  Spectator admission to the Festival of the Horse is free.  For a complete time schedule for each day of competition, visit www.cornerstonedressage.com.

Cornerstone Event Management is your resource for premier dressage events in California.  For more information, including news, show calendars, prize lists, entry forms, schedules, and results, visit Cornerstone Event Management on Facebook or visit www.cornerstonedressage.com.


Heart of the Carolinas Three-Day Event is All About the Amateurs

March 21, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

April 28-May 1, 2011

If ever there was a place that shouts “Long Live the Long Format,” Southern Eighths is that place and on  April 28-May 1 Classic Eventing will host its inaugural Heart of the Carolinas (HOTC) Three-Day Event on this 300-acre facility.  This Long Format Three-Day Event is the amateur rider’s “Rolex.”  It’s the event where Beginner Novice, Novice and Training level riders can negotiate their ultimate Long Format test in a USEA recognized T3D, N3D and BN3D event.  And what makes this event even more unique is that it is the only Three-Day Event that offers a Beginner-Novice division.

Southern Eighths is located in the middle of USEA Areas II and III on the North and South Carolina border.  The Farm is specially designed to accommodate and maximize the Long Format experience,  from its centrally located “holds” and “starts,” two steeplechase tracks and groomed “roads and tracks” to the special derby course used for show jumping.  The site also includes a cross-country course that was created by well-known course designer Tremaine Cooper.

Southern Eighths also has a recently added 38-stall guest barn with RV hookups and has made special arrangements with the local community for those needing accommodations and other necessities.


“Creating your competition support team is your job,” commented Foy Barksdale, Organizer of HOTC.  “Ours is to make your team’s stay at Southern Eighths enjoyable, exciting and educational.”

Adult amateur rider Briana Timmerman can speak firsthand about the facility.  After riding at a past Southern Eighths event, Briana commented, “The Southern Eighths event exceeded all possible expectations in terms of organization, educational benefit, and …fun.”


Classic Eventing overseas all the programs at this state-of-the-art Eventing facility.  For more information about “Heart of the Carolinas Three-Day Event,” contact Barksdale, 203-605-5303 or email info@classiceventing.com and to become a Facebook fan go to: http://facebook.dj/fans_southern_eighths_farm/.

PHOTOS © Diana De Rosa Photos


Elizabeth Benson Wins 4th Annual George Morris Excellence in Equitation Championships Presented by Artisan Farms

March 19, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Paris North and Chiara Parlagreco Glide to the Championship in the Adult Amateur 3’3″ Hunters

For Immediate Release
Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Brooke Bidgood for Equestrian Sport Productions

Wellington, FL – March 18, 2011 – The 4th Annual George Morris Excellence in Equitation Championships, Presented by Artisan Farms, were held on Friday evening in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. A feature event for the junior riders at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, the class saw an exciting win for 16-year-old Elizabeth Benson of Whitehouse Station, NJ, trained by Stacia Madden of Beacon Hill Show Stables.

Elizabeth Benson talks about her win in the George Morris Excellence in Equitation presented by Artisan Farms
Elizabeth Benson talks about her win in the George Morris Excellence in Equitation presented by Artisan Farms

Tonight’s class was held in three rounds with the top 12 coming back for round two and the top four returning for the third and final round. Thirty-three young riders qualified to compete over the first round course, which was set by Michel Vaillancourt of Aiken, SC. The riders were judged by two panels and also received a score in the schooling area after the first and second rounds. Judging Panel 1 included McLain Ward and George Morris, Panel 2 included Jimmy Torano and Anne Kursinski, and judging in the schooling area was provided by Joe Stone. The course walk and schooling were the sole responsibility of the riders. Competitors were allowed no contact with their trainers during the class and were responsible for time management, warm up, and schooling of their own horses with the assistance of one groom.

GHM Group

George Morris and the qualified riders

After two rounds of competition, the top four returned for the final round and switched horses. Chase Boggio, of Canton, GA, rode his horse Massimo to scores of 83.50 and 93 for a total of 186 returning for round three and then jumped the final course aboard Allison Fithian’s Lucky D’Etenclin. Fithian, of Monterey, CA, scored an 86 and a 92.5 for a total of 178.5 aboard Lucky D’Etenclin and then returned for round three aboard Boggio’s Massimo.

Molly Braswell, of Ocala, FL, and Lizzie Taylor’s El Campeon’s Danish scored a 95.5 and an 88.5 for a 184 going into round three. Braswell then jumped Elizabeth Benson’s San Remo VDL over the final course. Benson rode her horse San Remo VDL to scores of 90.5 and 96 in the first two rounds of competition for a two round total of 186.5 and then returned for the third round aboard Braswell’s mount El Campeon’s Danish to complete the class.

After a final deliberation from the judges, Benson was deemed the class winner, her horse San Remo VDL also earning an award as Best Equitation Horse. Chase Boggio finished in second, Molly Braswell in third, and Allison Fithian in fourth. Fithian’s horse Lucky D’Etenclin was awarded a prize as well as Best Turned Out Horse of the night.

Elizabeth Benson and San Remo VDL

Elizabeth Benson and San Remo VDL

Rounding out the top twelve were Michael Hughes in fifth, Schaefer Raposa in sixth, Samantha Schaefer in seventh, Liza Finsness in eighth, Catherine Tyree in ninth, Caitlin Ziegler in tenth, Christina Kelly in eleventh, and Victoria Colvin in twelfth.

Class winner Elizabeth Benson started riding with Stacia Madden a year and a half ago and got her horse San Remo at the same time. Benson showed in the class last year, but did not have the best results and was very pleased with her improvement just one year later. “It was okay last year; parts were really great but I had one fumble in the middle, so it was nice to put it together this year,” she said with a smile. “I think that I have learned to have more patience with him and I have learned how to make him softer in the corners. He’s easier to back down now and he is focusing, which helps me to focus.”

Benson admitted to getting nervous before a big class like this and explained that she is very superstitious. “My shirt says lucky on it and I wear it to all of the finals,” she laughed. “I have a lucky collar and lucky socks. I get nervous sometimes, but I just try to breathe before I go in and before I start my canter, I take one big, deep breath.”

Talking about her ride on San Remo in rounds one and two, Benson stated, “Usually he gets really antsy and kind of strong, so he does not like to wait at the ring. I was nervous going into the second round thinking he was going to light up again, but he was so calm and quiet. Sometimes he rushes his trot jumps, so it was nice to have a good one in the second round.”

“I thought our test was amazing,” she continued. “Sometimes he rushes and with his halt, sometimes he backs. We practiced that all day today and yesterday. It worked out well that he did his halt perfectly.”

San Remo VDL is an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. “He was imported a little bit before I got him and had done jumpers,” Benson explained. “He had really done no equitation. Stacia and everyone helped amazingly. I love him; he’s perfect.”

Commenting on her ride in the third round aboard Braswell’s mount El Campeon’s Danish, Benson noted, “We were talking a little bit at the beginning and Molly said he was a little up and a little bit nervous. I get nervous myself and rush a bit too, so I think we did okay. It was close because I had two rails and Chase had the same, but it turned out well.”

Benson plans to show at Devon in the spring and will then compete at the Garden State Horse Show and travel to Lake Placid later in the summer. “The finals are absolutely a goal,” she added. “I am hoping to put it all together this year, but next year will be even better.”

Benson had a special, personal connection to winning tonight because her father, Jack Benson, and George Morris were friends. “It is absolutely amazing to win and George is awesome,” she said with a smile. “My dad passed away last year, and one of the things George said to me was ‘I used to go to your dad’s horse shows.’ They were friends, so it was amazing to actually win.”

GHM presentation

Elizabeth Benson and San Remo VDL with ringmaster Cliff Haines, Carlene Ziegler of Artisan Farms, and George Morris

Second place finisher Chase Boggio also commented on the class, speaking about his mount Massimo and his ride aboard Lucky D’Etenclin. Boggio stated, “I got Massimo last November in Europe. He was super green when we first got him and he barely knew how to jump in a straight line. He’s been my project and has come along really nicely, so I am very happy with him. Lucky was amazing too. That was the first time I’ve ever ridden him and he is just so easy and so nice. He’s got the best rhythm.”

Speaking about riding in the big ring under the lights, Boggio noted, “It definitely helps that I show a lot in here in the jumpers, but this was the first time that I have taken my equitation horse in there. Going first is not always the best scenario, but I went into the second round with nothing to lose and just went for it. I just tried to use the same strategy going into the test. I knew he was a great horse and I am very pleased with how it went!”

Hunters See Championships

There was not a cloud in the sky on Friday as the 3’3″ Adult Amateur Hunters took center stage in the Rost Arena. The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, which runs through April 3, awarded Chiara Parlagreco and Paris North the championship Friday morning among a starting field of sixteen horse and rider combinations.

Paris North, a sixteen-year-old warmblood gelding, is an entry of Michael Smith from Winchester, Virginia. Parlagreco does some catch riding in the adult rings, and that is exactly how she got the ride on Paris North. “Mike bought him for himself a few years ago, but then he hurt his back and quit showing. He’s been letting me show him in the 3’3″ Adults.” She went on to add, “Mike still takes him on trail rides and hacks him for me when we aren’t showing.”

While Parlagreco does have another horse that she rides in the younger section of Adult Amateurs, her time on Paris North may be winding down. “This might be his last show because he is getting older, (and) he may be retired after this,” Parlagreco explained. “But what a great way to end,” she added with a smile.

Chiara Parlagreco and Paris North

Chiara Parlagreco and Paris North

The winning pair secured the championship by winning one class over fences, placing second in the under saddle, and getting one more second and two thirds in the remaining over fences classes.

Only four points behind Paris North and Parlagreco was Samurai and Alexa Weisman. Samurai, an eight-year-old Sachsen-Anhalt gelding by Samba Hit, is an entry owned by Carolyn Newton of Haverford, Pennsylvania. Samurai and Weisman secured the reserve championship this week by winning the under saddle and also one over fences class. The duo went on to win one other over fences class to take home the reserve tricolor honor.

The weekend begins tomorrow with more action in numerous hunter and equitation rings. Among the blue ribbons and tricolor awards given out tomorrow, the younger section of child riders in the THIS Children’s Medal will compete in two phases of competition for the top prize. Week ten of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival will continue tomorrow with the Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic at 1 p.m. followed by the $50,000 Vita Flex Match Races at 7 p.m.

Sunday will conclude week ten at The Stadium with the $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Riders Grand Prix at 10 a.m. and the $78,000 Pennfield Feeds FEI CSI 2* Grand Prix at 2 p.m.. The 2011 WEF will continue through April 3 and award more than $6 million in prize money.

For full results please visit www.showgroundslive.com and for more information, visit www.equestriansport.com

Final Results: 4th Annual George Morris Excellence in Equitation Championships Presented by Artisan Farms 
Pl Nbr Horse Rider Round/Judge Score Schooling Score Final

R1/J1 88 4 R1/J2 89 90.50 R2/J1 94 5 R2/J2 93 96.00 186.50

R1/J1 84 4 R1/J2 79 83.50 R2/J1 91 5 R2/J2 90 93.00 176.50

R1/J1 93 5 R1/J2 93 95.50 R2/J1 88 5 R2/J2 84 88.50 184.00

R1/J1 83 5 R1/J2 84 86.00 R2/J1 92 5 R2/J2 88 92.50 178.50

R1/J1 88 6 R1/J2 87 90.50 R2/J1 86 5 R2/J2 78 84.50 175.00

R1/J1 90 3 R1/J2 91 92.00 R2/J1 82 5 R2/J2 67 77.00 169.00

R1/J1 86 6 R1/J2 86 89.00 R2/J1 77 6 R2/J2 75 79.00 168.00

R1/J1 82 5 R1/J2 82.5 84.75 R2/J1 78 5 R2/J2 80 81.50 166.25

R1/J1 89 5 R1/J2 88 91.00 R2/J1 69 6 R2/J2 66 70.50 161.50

R1/J1 82 4 R1/J2 83 84.50 R2/J1 65 5 R2/J2 65 67.50 152.00

R1/J1 86 5 R1/J2 76.5 83.75 R2/J1 70 6 R2/J2 60 68.00 151.75

R1/J1 81 3 R1/J2 85 84.50 R2/J1 50 4R2/J2 56 55.00 139.50

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Benson rode her horse San Remo VDL to win the 4th Annual George Morris Excellence in Equitation Championships Presented by Artisan Farms during week ten at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Chiara Parlagreco and Paris North are the Amateur Adult 3’3″ Hunter champions during the tenth week of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release. For high resolution images, please send a request toinfo@jenniferwoodmedia.com.

The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 12 through April 3. 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 more than $6 million in prize money will beawarded.

WEF is proud to be supported by their title sponsor, 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 3,600 employees located in most major business centers in the world, they work closely with clients every day to anticipate, illuminate, and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management and restructuring. For more information, please visitwww.fticonsulting.com.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.
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Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC
14440 Pierson Rd., Wellington, FL 33414
561-793-5867 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Equestrian Media Relations

Clara Belden
Public Relations and Marketing



Lucy Davis’ Winning Ways

March 14, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Originally published in Sidelines Magazine, August 2010

Winning her very first Grand Prix at the Memorial Day Classic in front of a packed crowd at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center on May 31 was not the highlight of 17-year-old Lucy Davis’ riding career. The blond-haired girl with a pixie face and a soft little voice had a few other notches in her belt before she topped industry veterans Susie Hutchinson and Mike Endicott in a four-horse jumpoff during the $25,000 Memorial Day Grand Prix.

A member of the 2009 North American Young Rider Zone 10 team, Lucy’s silver medal performance at last summer’s NAYRC Finals in Kentucky earned her an invitation to compete at the European Young Masters in Germany in December. As the only American competing, Lucy handily won the European Youngster Cup at CSI Frankfurt with the only clear trip in the final round. And as her longtime coaches, Dick Carvin and Susie Schroer of Meadow Grove Farm in Lakeview Terrace, California couldn’t be there, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum stepped in as her coach for the week.

That’s a whole lot of career highlights for one young rider, but Lucy counts her greatest success (so far) as the Youngster Cup win: “It’s such a bigger sport over there,” she explains. “It felt like, everything felt like a big deal. It was a completely different atmosphere and I was really happy to be able to do well in it.”

“Doing well” is putting it lightly, and Lucy is quick to admit that a percentage of her success was luck when she faced off with 30 horses and riders from all over Europe. “My goal was to make it to the last day, and when I did I was so excited,” she says. “I felt like my skills were on par with everyone else, but there is always some luck involved.”

And riding with Meredith was “really inspirational. She’s an excellent coach and one of the best riders in the world. Having her coach me was a really special opportunity.”

On the tail of winning the Memorial Day Classic (in which she also placed third with new horse Nemo 119) Lucy headed back to Europe to take up with Meredith and Marcus Beerbaum for a month of summer training and showing. It was time well spent, as Lucy was gearing up to focus on the 2010 Young Riders Team, for which she qualified this spring.

Even with the opportunity to train with the best in the world, Lucy never forgets to balance the rest of life with her riding career. A big fan of the Lakers (she cheered them on at the Staples Center during the championships this year), she tries to mix up her social life and barn life to avoid burnout. Simple laid-back riding with her retired equitation horse, stabled at her home in Los Angeles, serves as a good refresher for the incoming high school senior.

“I love riding and it’s my passion, but if I only rode and was at shows every weekend it would be too much,” says Lucy. “I also like to just be at home and to go out with friends.”

If her greatest challenge is balancing riding with school and a social life, she is one lucky teenager. It will be interesting to see where she leaps to next, as Lucy Davis is undoubtedly standing on the precipice of what will be a notable show jumping career.


Taylor Harris Insurance Services and Sonoma Horse Park Proudly Announce the First Ever Rodrigo Pessoa Clinic

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

For Immediate Release
March 4, 2011

Rodrigo Pessoa is one of the most decorated riders of all time, having won the Olympic Individual Gold Medal, the World Equestrian Games Individual Gold Medal, three-time, consecutive World Cup Final Winner and countless other titles throughout his remarkable career. Rodrigo has also become a vocal leader in the sport, serving as the President of the International Jumping Riders Club and as the rider representative on the FEI Show Jumping Committee.

The clinic will take place in the Grand Prix Arena Monday, August 1st and Tuesday, August 2nd between HMI Equestrian Classic I and Giant Steps Charity Classic. Rodrigo will teach three sections of five riders at jumping heights 1.15 meters, 1.25 meters and 1.35 meters.  The Monday sessions will focus primarily on flatwork and Tuesday will incorporate a jumping course.

A gourmet Breakfast and Lunch will be served both days to all those auditing and participating in the clinic. Rodrigo will host a question and answer session during lunch each day and will speak about his riding philosophy and his winning strategies.

“We are so excited to welcome Rodrigo to Sonoma Horse Park to host his first ever clinic in America. He is such an inspiration and his career accomplishments have been astounding. To have Rodrigo come and share his insight and knowledge with our competitors and trainers is so fantastic. The West Coast has many talented riders and trainers and we want to give them access to the best in the world so that they continue to develop into National and International Champions,” says Ashley Herman-Griffin, manager of Sonoma Horse Park.

Amateurs, Juniors and Professionals are encouraged to apply for the clinic. Auditors must also register in advance. Details surrounding eligibility for the clinic and auditing can be found at www.sonomahorsepark.com.


We at Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) are proud of our worldwide reputation for responsive and courteous service. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your equine insurance needs. For more information about THIS, please visit www.taylorharris.com.

The 2011 show dates at Sonoma Horse Park:

– Horse & Hound Spring (B) – May 13 – 15, 2011

– HMI Equestrian Challenge (A) – May 18 – 22, 2011

– HMI June Classic (A) – June 15 – 19, 2011

– HMI Equestrian Classic I (AA) – July 26 – 31, 2011

– Giant Steps Charity Classic (C) – August 3 – 7, 2011

– HMI August Classic (A) – August 24 – 28, 2011

– Strides & Tides (A) – September 14 – 18, 2011

For more information on Sonoma Horse Park please visit www.sonomahorsepark.com


Law and O’Connor Named to 2013 Eventing Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor Short List

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

By Joanie Morris/USEF

Lexington, KY – Leslie Law and David O’Connor have been named to the 2013 Eventing Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor Short List. USEF received nine applications from six different nations. The Search Committee interviewed six applicants over the last two weeks. The applicant group is extremely qualified with over thirty Olympic, Pan American, European Championship, and World Equestrian Games medals between them.

Law and O’Connor will be available to answer questions at an open rider meeting on Thursday, March 10, at Red Hills Horse Trials in Tallahassee, FL. We anticipate sending an Evite to the Long List athletes who will be able to join the meeting via teleconference or webinar. Details and instructions will be forthcoming. If you can’t make it to the meeting in person, and you have a question for the candidates, please feel free to email your question to Search Committee chairman, Eric Straus, atericlstraus@gmail.com.

Mr. Straus will provide a Short List report to the USEF Eventing Eligible Athlete Committee, who will conduct a second round of interviews with Law and O’Connor. Once concluded, the Eventing Eligible Athlete Committee will make their recommendation to the Eventing High Performance Committee.

Members of the USEF Eventing Eligible Athlete Committee are:

Amy Tryon – Chairman

Jan Byyny

Stephen Bradley

Buck Davidson

Phillip Dutton

Lauren Hart-O’Brien

Becky Holder

Marcia Kulak

Bonnie Mosser

Karen O’Connor

Kim Severson


If you have any questions regarding the process, please don’t hesitate to contact Eric Straus atericlstraus@gmail.com or Sara Ike at sara.ike@usef.org.


California Riders Show Why They Are “Best in the Country” at Mid-Winter Dressage Fair & CDI*/Y/J

March 01, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

BURBANK, CA – Riders who dream of competing at the Pan American Games began their quest at the Mid-Winter Dressage Fair CDI*/Y/J in Burbank, CA, February 24 – 27, 2011.  As the first official qualifying competition on the West Coast, horses and riders vied for scores in front of FEI judges Jayne Ayers (“I” USA), Natalie Lamping (“I” USA), and Lorraine MacDonald (“I” CAN).  In addition, this competition served as an early-season qualifier for the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Champions (Pony Rider, Junior, Young Rider, and Brentina Cup divisions);  NAJYRC;  Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program; and the USEF Developing Horse division (sponsored by Dutta & PSI).  Despite the unusually cold and wet weather, competitors braved the elements and did not disappoint in providing exceptional performances.

In the CDI Prix St. Georges class, two California riders proved they will be a force to be reckoned with in Pan Am Games team selection.  “Today’s class was fun to judge,” said Jayne Ayers.  “We saw so many good horses, and they were very well ridden.”  Steffen Peters of San Diego, CA rode Jen Hlavacek’s nine-year-old Westfalen gelding “Weltino’s Magic” to an impressive score of 76.272%.  Riding through a rain shower to place second with a score of 72.719% was Marisa Festerling of Moorpark, CA with her own ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding “Big Tyme”.  “For me, from what I saw here, these two horses are the best in the country in this division,” stated Lorraine MacDonald, who served as President of the Ground Jury.  Both horses are graduates of the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program.

Despite rainy weather, CDI classes continued in relative comfort on Saturday thanks to the covered “Equidome”, which allows for two full-size dressage arenas in addition to warm-up areas to all be held under one roof.  Peters and “Weltino’s Magic” once again dominated the field in the second leg of the small tour, earning a score of 76.404% in the FEI Intermediaire I Test which was generously sponsored by LA Saddlery.  Canada’s Karen Pavicic rode her own nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding “Don Daiquiri” to second with 71.974%, and also claimed the blue ribbon in the Intermediaire I Freestyle with a solid score of 72.417%.

California's Steffen Peters with his new star "Weltino's Magic" owned by Jen Hlavacek. PHOTO CREDIT: JENNIFER M. KEELER

Another highlight of the competition was the participation of Steffen Peters and “Ravel” in the national Grand Prix class, scoring a 75.532% from judge Sandra Hotz.  In their first outing since winning two individual bronze medals at the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games last fall, this pair utilized the opportunity to get into the ring as a final preparation for the World Dressage Masters in Florida.  “I was really happy with my ride today.  He’s been feeling great,” noted Peters.  “Sometimes after a big event, you want to relax for a while, but it wasn’t like that for me.  I was itching to get back to it.”  Peters and “Ravel” leave on Thursday for the Masters, which will be held March 9 – 11.

In the Young Rider division, a strong field of veteran performers fought for the blue ribbons.  “These  young riders have learned from their past experiences, and there are future stars here,” noted judge Jayne Ayers.  In the CDI Young Rider Team Test, Mackinzie Pooley of Coto de Caza, CA rode “Jonkara” to a winning score of 70.877% in the Team Test, while Morgan Heinrichs of Longmont, CO rode “Orlando” to a winning score of 67.675% in the Individual Test.   Catherine Chamberlain traveled from Chandler, AZ to ride her own “Verdicci” to a freestyle victory with a score of 66.250% to close out the Young Rider division.  In the CDI Junior classes, Taylor Lindsten from Cave Creek, AZ and her mount “Raoul” swept the Team and Individual Tests.

Markel/Cornerstone High Point Winners were once again presented in four divisions.  In the FEI ranks, Steffen Peters and “Weltino’s Magic” were presented with the winning dress sheet, while in the Open division Sabine Schut-Kery of Thousand Oaks CA rode Alice Womble-Heitman’s Hanoverian stallion “Sanceo” to victory.  For Adult Amateurs, Emily Tears of Coto de Caza, CA rode Karen Ball’s “Absolute Zephyr” to claim the title, and Mackinzie Pooley with “Jonkara” won the Junior/Young Rider division.

With the generous support of sponsor Lisa Seger Equine Insurance Agency, a new hospitality area called “The Retreat” was premiered during the show, and quickly became a big hit with competitors.  “Thanks to Lisa Seger, this was a place for exhibitors to enjoy themselves and relax during the show, have refreshments, check scores, and socialize,” explained competition manager Glenda McElroy.

The next competition will be the Festival of the Horse CDI-W/Y/J, March 31 – April 3, featuring both FEI World Cup and Pan American Games qualifying classes.  Entries close Friday, March 11.

Cornerstone Event Management is the leading resource for premier dressage events in California.  For more information, including news, show calendars, prize lists, entry forms, schedules, and results, visit Cornerstone Event Management on Facebook or www.cornerstonedressage.com.