What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

Archive for December, 2011

2nd annual Jump for HomeSafe set for January 28th at PBIEC

December 30, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Paige Johnson named event chairperson

[Wellington, Fl] With philanthropist and equestrian, Paige Johnson, as event chairperson, the 2nd annualJump for HomeSafe will be entertaining hundreds of people Saturday, January 28, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) during the Winter Equestrian Festival’s Nepresso $55,000 Battle of the Sexes.  Proceeds of the event will support HomeSafe, a non-profit organization helping victims of domestic violence and child abuse. Each year HomeSafe serves more than fifteen-thousand infants, children and families in Palm Beach County and South Florida.

Jump for HomeSafe is a fun, energetic cocktail party taking place inside the newly expanded Wellington Tent at the PBIEC.  Attendees will enjoy a three-hour cocktail party, including hors d’oeuvres, open bar, silent auction, entertainment, special guests, reserved outdoor seating to watch Battle of the Sexes, and horseless jump competitions (with awards) for children.

“I am honored to host this charity event for HomeSafe, and hope to bring awareness to as many people as possible about the overwhelming presence of child abuse and domestic violence in this country,” said Paige Johnson, chairperson for Jump for HomeSafe

“We’re truly ecstatic to have Paige Johnson as the chairperson of HomeSafe’s charity equestrian event,” said Matthew Ladika, CEO of HomeSafe. “Paige is a positive role model for aspiring young women, and is genuinely concerned and committed to helping victims of domestic violence and child abuse in Palm Beach County and South Florida.  We’re proud to have Paige partner with HomeSafe to help abused kids and battered women.”

Paige Johnson is a philanthropist and avid equestrian, competing year-round in national and international horse shows at the grand prix level. Johnson began competing at the young age of seven, and has possesses a love and passion for animals ever since. She recently became an Ambassador for the ASPCA, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the welfare and safety of animals.Some of Johnson’s career highlights include multiple wins across the globe, from the prestigious Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL, to the Vaalkenswaard Horse Show in the Netherlands.  Johnson is proud to support and serve as event chairperson for Jump for HomeSafe, an equestrian fundraiser at PBIEC. 

Since 1979, HomeSafe is a nationally accredited non-profit organization protecting Palm Beach County’s and South Florida’s most vulnerable residents – victims of child abuse and domestic violence.  Through its results-driven approach, HomeSafe has grown into a leading provider of prevention and intervention services, serving over fifteen thousand infants, children and families each year. Today, HomeSafe offers comprehensive programs including: LifeSkills, helping at-risk youth prepare to become self-sufficient at 18, and well into the future; Residential Group Care, providing abused children with comprehensive therapeutic services to treat severe trauma; SafetyNet, providing immediate intervention and prevention services to victims of domestic violence and their children; and Healthy Beginnings (funded by Children Services Council of Palm Beach County) helping identify and prevent child abuse and neglect, promoting healthy births, and ensuring children are ready and eager to learn by kindergarten. Learn more about HomeSafe at www.HelpHomeSafe.org.

Sponsorship and tickets can be purchased at www.HelpHomeSafe.org or emailing MeghanMayo@HelpHomeSafe.org or 561-383-9809.

Helmets Required for all Levels of Equine Canada Dressage Competition in 2012

December 30, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

[December 27, 2011] Equine Canada and Dressage Canada are taking an industry-wide leadership role by requiring all dressage riders to wear helmets in competition. Commencing in 2012, a national rule change will require all riders to wear helmets for all levels of Equine Canada sanctioned dressage competition.  The rule for January 1, 2012 is

SAFETY HEADGEAR
All riders, regardless of age or level or competition, must wear ASTM/SEI or BSI/BS EN approved protective headgear at all times when mounted at any EC-sanctioned Dressage competition at the event location.

“I am very proud of our Dressage Committee for taking this step,” said Equine Canada president Michael Gallagher. “I believe we are the first national federation in the world to introduce this rule across all levels, and I can guarantee we will not be the last.”

This change for 2012 is a modification to the rule that was put in place in May 2011 where all riders competing in Fourth Level and below, FEI Young Horse Tests, Material and equitation classes at Bronze, Silver and Gold shows had to wear helmets. This rule also included non-competing riders as well.

“Helmet use is an important step and component in the safety for all our members,” said John Harris, chair of Equine Canada Board’s Task Force on Safety. “In 2012 Equine Canada will launch a safety audit across the entire organization to examine and identify best practices for safety. The well-being of our members needs to always be the primary concern of the organization.”

“I am thrilled that Canada is promoting the use of helmets,” said Canadian Olympian Ashley Holzer, who routinely wears helmets during competition. “Helmets prevent head injuries, and I feel a rule that promotes the safety of its riders is a great rule.”

“Riders4Helmets is delighted that Equine Canada is demonstrating that riders safety comes before tradition by implementing helmet rule changes in dressage shows at all level,” said Lyndsey White, co-founder www.riders4helmets.com. “Courtney King-Dye’s accident showed that safety has nothing to do with level of skill. Any rider can suffer a traumatic brain injury—even an Olympian. Equine Canada should be congratulated on taking this monumental step.”

Most of the feedback received by the Dressage Canada Rules Committee on the subject of helmet safety was in favour of riders wearing approved helmets in competition. This rule change came after an open, democratic process, in which all Canadian dressage riders had a chance to express their views to the proposal.

For the complete Equine Canada Dressage rules for 2012, please visit the rules section of the Equine Canada website at http://bit.ly/sr00gv.

Press release courtesy of Equine Canada

Leibler and Watson 108 Second in Freestyle at the FEI Young Rider World Cup Dressage Final in German

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

Lexington, KY – Isabelle Leibler and Watson 108 came in second in Sunday’s B Final in the Freestyle, representing the U.S. at the FEI Young Rider World Cup Dressage Final in Frankfurt, Germany.

Leibler (Greenwich, CT) scored 68.700 on the 14-year-old Westphalian gelding, just behind Simona Aeberhard, representing Switzerland.

Leibler and Watson 108 were invited to represent the U.S. at the 2011 Finals after posting the highest average in the FEI Young Rider Freestyle Test at CDI-Y’s during the qualifying period. This pair landed in Germany after a strong 2011 campaign that included winning a team Bronze medal and two Gold medals, individual and freestyle, at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Riders Championships presented by Gotham North. Additionally, they were crowned National Young Rider Dressage Champions at the 2011 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Championships.

Photo ©Susan J. Stickle

The FEI Young Rider World Cup Dressage Final was held in conjunction with the Internationales Festhallen Reitturnier Frankfurt December 14-18 in Frankfurt, Germany. Fourteen horse-and-rider combinations from around the world competed.

Leibler placed 10th in Friday’s Individual Test, allowing her to move on to Sunday’s B Final.

For the complete results, visit: http://eventcontent.hippoonline.de/648/docs/erg21.pdf.

Keep up with Leibler’s preparation and performance at the 2011 FEI Young Rider World Cup Dressage Final regularly visit: http://www.usefnetwork.com/blogs/equestrianUSA/read.aspx.

Leibler and Watson 108 Continue on to Freestyle at the FEI Young Rider World Cup Dressage Final in Germany

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

Lexington, KY – Isabelle Leibler and Watson 108 performed flawlessly Friday while representing the U.S. at the FEI Young Rider World Cup Dressage Final Grand Prix, and are moving forward to the B Final on Sunday in the Freestyle.

“We were mistake free and I finished the first day very proud of myself and of Watson for staying focused throughout the exciting distractions,” Leibler said. “The competition has been absolutely amazing so far. It is like nothing I have ever seen before: big, bright, and electric.”

Isabelle Leibler and Watson 108 National Young Rider Dressage Championships. Photo ©SusanJStickle.com

Leibler (Greenwich, CT) and the 14-year-old Westphalian gelding were invited to represent the U.S. at the 2011 Finals after posting the highest average in the FEI Young Rider Freestyle Test at CDI-Y’s during the qualifying period. This pair landed in Germany after a strong 2011 campaign that included winning a team Bronze medal and two Gold medals, individual and freestyle, at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Riders Championships presented by Gotham North. Additionally, they were crowned National Young Rider Dressage Champions at the 2011 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Championships.

The FEI Young Rider World Cup Dressage Final is being held in conjunction with the Internationales Festhallen Reitturnier Frankfurt December 14-18 in Frankfurt, Germany. Fourteen horse-and-rider combinations from around the world are competing.

At Friday’s Individual Test, Leibler placed 10th.

“Everywhere you look there are people and horses all over the place. It is truly quite something,” Leibler said. “This competition has really been one of a kind with gracious hosts and generous sponsors. It is an honor and a privilege to be here, and I hope to represent the USA well in the kur on Sunday.”

For the complete results, visit: http://eventcontent.hippoonline.de/648/sta_erg/19_ergDEU.htm?style=escon.

Keep up with Leibler’s preparation and performance at the 2011 FEI Young Rider World Cup    Dressage Final regularly visit: http://www.usefnetwork.com/blogs/equestrianUSA/read.aspx.

-USEF Communications Department

Laura B makes British Dressage History

December 15, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Britain’s European Dressage gold medal trio of Laura Bechtolsheimer (Mistral Hojris), Charlotte Dujardin (Valegro) and Carl Hester (Uthopia) took the top three places in the Reem Acra FEI Grand Prix freestyle at Olympia, The London International Horse Show.

It was however a close outcome: just 0.5% divided the three and all three scored over 83% making it the highest scoring World Cup qualifier of the 2011-2012 series so far. “The result was a dream come true for British dressage,” said Stephen Clarke, President of the Ground Jury. “The riders did a fantastic job and made us, the judges, work. It was difficult to separate them and with such huge scores.”

It was also an historic win for Laura and Mistral Hojris who became the first British winners of the Olympia World Cup qualifier since its inception in 2004 and the first Briton to win a World Cup qualifier freestyle since Jennie Loriston-Clarke and Dutch Gold.

Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris. Photo ©Olympia/ Kit Houghton

The pair was impeccable throughout the beautifully timed, foot-tapping ‘Shadows’ routine. “I had such a great ride. Alf was right on the button and to win at Olympia in-front of the home crowd at the end of a season is really special,” said Laura.

Twenty-five year-old Charlotte, riding in only her second freestyle competition, was a mere 0.275% behind with the nine-year old Dutch-bred Valegro. “He was a little bit hotter tonight and there were a few mistakes but I am still getting to grips with the freestyle. But just to compete here was last year one of my dreams.”

The focus and concentration couldn’t have been more evident from Carl and the Dutch-bred stallion Uthopia. After last night’s grand prix which Carl admitted was ring rusty, tonight’s freestyle was mistake free and polished and made the most of the black stallion’s powerful and floating extensions.

“It was the best he could have done,” said Carl. “I had a great ride with such lightness and despite really wanting to beat Laura and Charlotte I really don’t think there was much more I could have done.”

For more visit www.olympiahorseshow.com

USEF Report from First Pre-Olympic Games Dressage Clinic

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

Lexington, KY – The first of six pre-Olympic Games Dressage Clinics kicked off at beautiful Epona Farm in Thousand Oaks, CA. These clinics, a joint effort by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the USET Foundation will help prepare horses and riders for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Linda and Michael Fowler were gracious hosts at Epona Farm. Nine horses (with seven riders) worked with USEF Technical Advisor Anne Gribbons and Olympian Steffens Peters. For two days the riders focused on schooling the Grand Prix and then rode a test in front of Gribbons. Gribbons is also an FEI 5* judge.

David Wightman on Partous with Anne Gribbons and Steffen Peters (Photo: USEF Archives)

“Going into 2012 it was useful for the riders to practice the new Olympic Grand Prix Special test,” said Jenny Van Wieren-Page USEF Director of Dressage, High Performance. “Another important aspect of these clinics is planning the 2012 competition and training schedules with Anne.”

The following riders and horses were in attendance:

Jan Ebeling with Rafalca and Rosenzauber 8

Adrienne Lyle with Wizard and Accolade

Marie Meyers with Fandango

Leslie Morse and Fleur Rouge

Alyssa Pitts with Jil Sander

Mette Rosencrantz with Finally

David Wightman with Partous

“The best part was doing the test,” said David Wightman. “I think for Pre-Olympic preparation that it is imperative to work on the test. This was exactly what both my horse and I needed. It was perfect to work on the weak points after the test. The team of Steffen and Anne worked very well together. Anne would say it from the judge’s point of view and Steffen gave very good tips for me as a rider. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to participating again.”

These clinics will continue with Gribbons and Peters in January in both Florida and California. The focus will be on potential team combinations.

Thanks to Epona Farm, Linda and Michael Fowler and Button Baker for making this first clinic a success.

For more information, please contact Jenny Van Wieren-Page at jvanwieren@usef.org.  

USDF Approves National Dressage Championships

December 05, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'


[Lexington, KY] The United States Dressage Federation (USDF) is pleased to announce approval by its Board of Governors of a US national dressage championship beginning in 2013. This championship will be a head to head competition showcasing Adult Amateur and Open riders at Training Level through Grand Prix.

With invitations to be extended to competitors who have qualified through the Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Dressage Championships, the inaugural championship (exact name TBD) will take place in the fall of 2013 at the Kentucky Horse Park (KHP) in Lexington, KY.  The KHP was the site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.  It also hosts the annual Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and the FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships.

According to USDF President George Williams, the first formal discussions within the USDF, regarding a US national championship, started almost 20 years ago.  Williams also states, “This is indeed an exciting day for American dressage and in particular, our adult amateur competitors.”

Founded in 1973, the United States Dressage Federation is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to education, recognition of achievement and promotion of dressage.  For more information about USDF membership or programs, visit www.usdf.org <http://www.usdf.org/>, email  usdressage@usdf.org, or call 859-971-2277.