What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

Archive for February, 2012

Halcyon Farm Announces Equestrians Ride for a Cure

February 29, 2012 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'


Dillsburg, PA] Halcyon Farm, LTD presents Equestrians Ride for a cure to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, to be held on April 7, 2012 at Halcyon Farm in Dillsburg, PA. The Halcyon Farm Horse Show will offer a $2500 USHJA National Hunter Derby sponsored by WALK THE LINE, LLC and Best Child Rider on a Horse, Pony and Best Amateur Rider sponsored by The Chronicle of the Horse. Awards for the featured classes are donated by Dover Saddlery. 

All proceeds from the $200 USHJA National Hunter Derby and Best Rider awards will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In addition, organize your barn or a team to make a donation to LLS at the horse show and Halcyon will give each rider from that barn showing at the Halcyon Spring Horse Show a voucher good for $50 worth of entry fees at a 2012 Halcyon Farm or 2012 PECHA Horse Show. The winners of the National Hunter Derby and Best Awards receive a cooler, trophy ribbons, Chronicle Subscription and more.

“The generosity in donations from Halcyon Farm, LTD, Walk the Line, LLS, The Chronicle of the Horse, Dover Saddlery, Robin Hawley & Associates, H&H Service Company and Dillsburg Dental Care for your generous support of this event and numerous other sponsors is overwhelming and I cannot Thank you enough. The best part of your donation is the impact this will have on blood cancer patients, their families and the life-saving research to support to the end of cancer,” said Lauren Kohr, Committee Member for the Tania Srouji MWOY campaign

 about Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Man/Women and Boy/Girl of the Year

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man & Woman of the Year (MWOY) campaign is a fundraising competition in communities across the U.S. in which participants vie for the title of Man or Woman of the Year. They raise funds for blood cancer research in honor of local children who are blood cancer survivors, the Boy & Girl of the Year. The titles are awarded to the men and women in each community who raise the most funds during the eight-week campaign. Halcyon Farm and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society support Tania Srouji in her campaign for Man/Women of the Year. www.tania2012.com

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has named Ashley Fazekas and Dustin Beaver the 2012 Girl/Boy of the Year.

Ashley Fazekas has been named the Girl of the Year and is a very bright and vivacious seven year old who willingly shares her cancer experience in order to help others. She was diagnosed at the age of one and a half with A.L.L (Acute lymphocytic leukemia)

Dustin Beaver Has been named Boy of the Year and is an energetic 12 year old from Mechanicsburg who was diagnosed with A.L.L. two days before Christmas, 2010. Dustin has been thankfully in remissions since January, but has to undergo excruciating maintenance treatment for the next few months

Walk the Line, LLC sponsors the $2500 USHJA National Hunter Derby and The Chronicle of the Horse sponsored the Best Child Riders on a Horse, Pony and Best Amateur riders. All proceeds from the featured classes benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. A special thank you to Robin Hawley & Associates, H&H Service and Dillsburg Dental for their additional donation.

Visit Halcyon Farm for more information.

Southern 8ths Hosts First Recognized Beginner Novice and Novice Three-Day

February 29, 2012 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

On February 1, 2012, the US Eventing Association approved a policy change to permit Beginner Novice and Novice riders to compete in fully recognized Long Format 3-Day Events.  This historic ruling now allows those riders that represent the majority of the sport’s participants to earn USEA National Year-end Points and Eventing Championship Qualifications when they compete in the traditional version of the sport.

Southern 8ths Farm in Chesterfield, SC has worked closely with the USEA to develop the guidelines for the new policy and is proud to be the first organizer to offer both of the newly recognized levels at its So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event this May 3rd through 6th, 2012, which will include Beginner Novice, Novice and Training level.

Jeannette Ford aboard Emily Bug galloping over a Steeplechase fence at the 2011 So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event in Chesterfield, SC, the heart of the Carolinas. This year’s event takes place May 3-6. ©Diana De Rosa Photo

The Long Format is the traditional version of the sport dating back to the early 20th century and first introduced in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden.  While it changed slightly over the years, in 2004 the Olympics changed the sport to the “short” format by eliminating the longer Roads & Tracks and the Steeplechase parts of the test thereby reducing the amount of area required to host the sport.

Many riders feel the classic, Long Format is the true test of horse and rider and that it provides substantial benefits for improving overall horsemanship.  The USEA has been an active supporter of the Long Format for its mid-level Training and Preliminary riders.  But until now, the majority of riders who are at the lower Beginner Novice and Novice levels could only dream of riding the ultimate test for national recognition.

It took years of work by a lot of people, but it finally happened.  The USEA recognition of the Beginner Novice and Novice 3-Day events opens the benefits of the traditional format to lower level riders who comprise the nucleus of the sport,” commented Brad Turley, Southern 8ths Farm owner.  “Working with Cindy DePorter, USEA National Adult Rider Coordinator, and Tremaine Cooper, our International FEI Course Designer, the standards were developed and accepted by the USEA.  And a special thanks to Jo Whitehouse, CEO and Brian Sabo, President of the USEA and the Board Members for all their work to make this happen,” he continued.

Southern 8ths will be bringing in some of the nation’s top riders, who volunteer their time to help the lower level riders become better riders and horsemen.  The new USEA format is as much about education as it is about competing and the professional riders will be there to help.

And the event is not just for horse and riders who compete, it is open to the public where visitors can get close to the action as the competitors ride their dressage tests and trot, gallop and jump their way to the ribbons.  It is the perfect family entertainment event that is free of charge.

For more details about the May 3-6 So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event or any other schooling opportunities at Southern 8ths Farm visit their web site at www.so8ths.com, join its “Fans of Southern 8ths” Facebook page at http://tinyurl.com/So8thsFacebook,  or go to http://www.youtube.com/user/So8ths to view its YouTube videos, or to www.tinyurl.com/presslink-so8ths to see photos from last year’s event.  Feel free to email info@so8ths.com or call 843-623-5005 with your questions.

Literary Horses Loose in Houston Public Library through March 30, 2012

February 27, 2012 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Riders read and Pin Oak Charity Horse Show encourages reading in the greater Houston Community through The Literary Horse: When Legends Come to Life Exhibit by Vanessa Wright, a pairing of photographs of today’s horses and riders with quotations from the world’s greatest book.

(Houston, TX) – Does Black Beauty live at the end of your street? Does Pegasus take wing from the pasture around the corner?  Explore The Literary Horse: When Legends Come to Life equine photography exhibit to find out!  From Achilles receiving his immortal chargers to Don Quixote’s farewell to Rocinante, literature is full of unforgettable stories and poetry about heroic horses and horse-people.  This exhibit brings those legends to life by pairing photos of today’s novice through Olympic equestrians with quotations from the world’s greatest books.

The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show partners with the Houston Public Library to present this stunning exhibit to the greater Houston community to inspire reading through the majesty of the horse.  The Literary Horse: When Legends Come to Life, created by Vanessa Wright, opens February 18, 2012 and runs through March 30, 2012 at Houston Public Library – Central Library.  This beautiful collection is open to all and free to all.

Among this parade of famous — and infamous — steeds, you’ll glimpse the sunbeam-maned stallion, Greyfell, and his rider, the Viking prince Siegfried, on their quest to battle the dragon, Fafnir, the terror of the Glittering Heath.  You’ll see the mighty warriors for whom Shakespeare’s King Richard III may once have shouted, “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!”

“Education is something Pin Oak Charity Horse Show champions in many ways,” said Roxanne Cook, Executive Director of Pin Oak Charity Horse Show.  “We felt it was important to touch the greater Houston community in a new way and encourage reading at the same time.  Bringing The Literary Horse exhibit to Houston in partnership with Houston Public Library does just that.  It aligns with our goals of promoting education not only for riders, but for all,” Cook added.

 The Literary Horse: When Legends Come to Life is an exhibit touring libraries worldwide through 2012.  Vanessa Wright is a multiple award-winning teacher, author, and equine photographer.  For more information and free resources, please visit the exhibit website www.TheLiteraryHorse.com.

For Library hours and directions, www.houstonlibrary.com.  Houston Public Library – Central Branch located in downtown Houston, 500 McKinney Avenue.  To see equestrian sports at its finest, we hope you join us for the many events at the 67th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, March 21-April 1 2012, Great Southwest Equestrian Center, Katy TX, www.pinoak.org.

Pin Oak Charity Horse Show is a 501c3 not-for-profit entity that has served the greater Houston community since 1945.  It is one of Houston’s oldest local charities and also known as Houston’s hometown horse show.  Pin Oak was designated as the first United States Equestrian Federation Heritage Competition in the country in 2009.  Pin Oak Charity Horse Show information available at www.pinoak.org, on our Facebook page, by email at info@pinoak.org, or by phone 713.621.6290.

TEAM USA Poster Contest!

February 24, 2012 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

[Wellington, FL] As Nations Cup Night draws near, the United States is calling on all fans to show their support. This weekend, Saturday February 25 and Sunday, February 26, Junior and pony riders are invited to create and submit a poster for the “Team USA Poster Contest.” Poster supplies will be available in the Winter Equestrian Festival Family Center located near the pony rings from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

All contestants will receive tickets to the Nations Cup on March 2, 2012 and an official USET Foundation baseball cap. Three poster contest divisions will be offered: 1.) Team USA Spirit, 2.) Current Team Horse and 3.) Team Horses from the Past. The deadline to submit posters is Sunday at 3pm. The posters will be displayed and winners will be announced in the Team USA Tent during the Pre-Nations Cup Pep Rally Reception. Three guest judges from past Olympic Teams will be on site to judge the original artwork, and the winners from each division will receive a baseball cap autographed by the 2012 Nations Cup Team and Chef d’Equipe George Morris.

“We wanted to do something with the Junior and pony kids because our sport is so broad and there are so many people that make up the team,” noted Sparky Frost, USET Foundation Coordinator of “TEAM USA Poster Contest. “The Junior and pony riders are certainly a part of that because they are our future. This is also an educational opportunity for participants to learn more about our team, our horses, and the rich history of the United States Equestrian Team. The kids will be able to read books and do some online research to learn about the horses and riders that have represented our country.”

On Friday, March 2, from 6-7pm the United States Equestrian Team Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation invite USA Fans to a “TEAM USA PRE-NATIONS CUP PEP RALLY RECEPTION” held in the “USA” section of the Special Events Pavilion. Bring your team spirit and wear your Red, White and Blue!

Tickets for the USA Cheering Section will also be available on the night of the Nations Cup on a first come, first serve basis starting at 6pm in the USA section of the Special Events Pavilion.

Any older junior riders or parents that would like to volunteer and help manage the poster contest are welcome to join the participants on Saturday and Sunday at the Family Center from 10am-3pm. For more information about this event, please contact Sparky Frost at  sparky.frost@gmail.com.

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.

For more information on the USET Foundation, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org.

2012 Marks 100 Years of Equestrians in the Olympics

February 24, 2012 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

FEI President looks forward to another 100 years of equestrian sport in Olympic Movement.

The London 2012 Olympic Games marks 100 years of equestrian sport in the Olympic movement, and FEI President HRH Princess Haya is looking forward to celebrating the centenary at Greenwich Park this summer.

“We are really proud to be celebrating 100 years of Olympic equestrian sport at the London 2012 Games and it’s wonderful that we will be doing that at an iconic venue like Greenwich Park right in the heart of the Games,” FEI President HRH Princess Haya said today.

“Greenwich Park is the second largest venue in London 2012 and tickets for the Cross Country were one of the fastest to sell out. Demand has been so high for our sport that tickets for all the equestrian disciplines were sold out in a matter of weeks, establishing us as one of the most popular sports in the Games.

“This is a real milestone for our sport and is worthy of celebration as it confirms that we are really competing with the other top sports on the number of spectators we can pull in. We’re aspiring to provide one of the top quality products of the Games and we can really say to the big international federations, watch out, we’re here now!

“We have worked tirelessly over the past number of years to ensure that horse sport falls in line with all the IOC requirements, that it is clean, transparent, cost effective and safe.

“The IOC conducts a thorough review of the Olympic Games programme after each edition of the Games and of course that applies to all the sports on the programme, not only to equestrian sport.

“Protecting our status in the Olympic Movement is very important to the FEI, and my role as a member of the IOC provides me with the opportunity to promote our sport and our Federation in the future. We have made great strides in the past 100 years and we are now looking forward to another 100 years of equestrian sport in the Olympic Games.”

Equestrian sport has been part of the Olympic movement since the 1912 Games in Stockholm. It is one of the few Olympic sports in which men and women compete against each other and the only one which involves an animal.

Sweden's Carl Bonde and Emperor won the individual Dressage gold on home ground in Stockholm at the 1912 Olympic Games.

California’s Dressage Riders Begin Olympic Journey at This Weekend’s Mid-Winter Dressage Fair CDI-W/Y/J in Burbank

February 21, 2012 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

BURBANK, CA –The 2012 Mid-Winter Dressage Fair CDI-W/Y/J, which begins Thursday, February 23 in Burbank, CA and continues through Sunday, February 26, is the first West Coast qualifying competition for the 2012 Olympic Games Dressage Team Selection Trials and will provide a glimpse of some of the country’s most exciting new horse and rider combinations.

Steffen Peters and his new partner "Legolas" will make their international competition debut at this weekend's Mid-Winter Dressage Fair CDI-W/Y/J in Burbank, CA. Photo: Terri Miller.

An international field of ten horses and riders will contest the CDI Grand Prix division, headlined by American dressage superstar and Olympian Steffen Peters with his spectacular new partner, “Legolas.”  In only their second show together, Peters is bringing Akiko Yamazaki’s ten-year-old Westfalen gelding to the Mid-Winter Dressage Fair for their FEI competition debut and the pursuit of crucial qualifying scores to hopefully join his famous stablemate “Ravel” in consideration for an invitation to London.   Additionally, fellow Olympian Guenter Seidel will present his new mount, Toyon Farm’s “Fandango”, but will be competing for top honors against his famous 2009 World Cup Finals “Phantom of the Opera” Pas de Deux partner Elizabeth Ball and “Orion”, as well as perennial favorites Kathleen Raine with “Breanna”; Canada’s Lindsey Stroh riding “Lancelot”; Yvonne Losos de Muñiz and “Liebling II” representing the Dominican Republic; and Jan Ebeling with “Rafalca”, who represented the USA at last year’s Reem Acra/FEI World Cup Dressage Finals.

In the small tour, Steffen Peters will present his latest young prospect “Sundance 8”, and will be joined by David Blake riding the exciting stallion “Royal Prinz”, Guenter Seidel with new mount “Feodora”, and Jan Ebeling with “Rosenzauber 8”, as well as highly successful combinations Kim Elsner on “Luminence,” Rebecca Rigdon riding “Solei”, and “Tristan” with Charlotte Jorst.

Competitors attending the Mid-Winter Dressage Fair will experience a whole new look to the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, as hi-tech and horse-friendly Olympic Mix footing has been installed in the outside large oval ring, including the warm-up area.  Regardless of weather, horses will be able to show off the best of their abilities in this soft, stable, non-slip footing, which is the same high-tech formula used at such prestigious events as the World Cup Finals and the Olympic Games.  Officiating for this High Performance competition will be Jean-Michele Roudier (5*) of France, who will serve as a member of the ground jury for this summer’s Olympic Games.  Roudier will be joined by esteemed judges Linda Zang (5* USA), Cara Whitham (5* CAN), Eddy de Wolff (4* NED), Jayne Ayers (4* USA), and Brenda Minor (4* CAN).

A new feature at the Mid-Winter Dressage Fair will be five “team challenges”, adding a new element of competition and excitement for all levels of riders.  The $750 CDI Challenge and $500 Freestyle Challenge will pair riders from the CDI Grand Prix and Prix St. Georges/Intermediaire I divisions, while open show competitors will vie for additional prize money in the Pro-Am Upper Level Challenge (Third and Fourth Levels); Pro-Am Lower Level Challenge (First and Second Levels); and the All Amateur Training Level Challenge.  In addition, this competition will serve as an early-season qualifier for the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Champions (Pony Rider, Junior, Young Rider, Brentina Cup, and Intermediaire I divisions);  NAJYRC;  Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program; and the USEF Developing Horse division (sponsored by Dutta & PSI).

Spectator admission to the Mid-Winter Dressage Fair is free.  For a complete time schedule, results, and press releases for each day of competition, visitwww.cornerstonedressage.com.  Dressage fans unable to attend the show in person will now be able to view video highlights on Cornerstone’s designated YouTube channel, available at this link: http://www.youtube.com/user/DressageCornerstone/videos.

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.

By Yellow Horse Marketing for Cornerstone Event Management

The 2012 FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge Presented By Fidelity Investments® to Be Held This Friday, Feb. 17, at 6 p.m.

February 17, 2012 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Wellington, FL – The highlight of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, the FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge presented By Fidelity Investments® (FTI GCC), will take place Friday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The goal of the FTI GCC is to raise over $1 million for 32 Palm Beach County charities.

The night’s excitement includes a thrilling pro-am show jumping relay event where 32 teams, featuring Olympic and world-class riders, will compete for their assigned charities. This is the feel-good event of the season where everyone is a winner – each charity will win at least $10,000. With free parking and general admission, the community-based event welcomes everyone to come and enjoy a family carnival, live band, and numerous food and beverage options.

Since the FTI GCC started two years ago, the event has raised more than $1.5 million for Palm Beach County charities. One hundred percent of the money raised is passed on to the charities, including all ticket table and box seat sales for the night of the event.

“This event allows us to educate [the public about], showcase, and financially support the broad missions of 32 randomly selected charities from Palm Beach County. It is unique to get this many charities involved in a single event, so it is not about a specific charity but the spirit of giving. My family, my fellow Wellington Equestrian Partners, and the equestrian community are very fortunate to enjoy this lifestyle and this is a great opportunity for us to give back to our community,” stated Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions.

The charities, which were randomly selected at the Holiday HorseFest event on Dec. 11 in downtown West Palm Beach, FL, are randomly paired with a team sponsor. The 32 team sponsors are able to choose their team of riders who will represent the charity with which each has been paired. The charity that is matched with the winning team of riders wins the largest portion of the monies raised.

Wheels for Kids took home the top portion of prize money at last year's FTI GCC

The charities in this year’s FTI GCC are: American Humane Association, American Red Cross, Be a Star Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Inc., Center For Family Services, Big Dog Ranch Rescue, Inc., Caridad Center, Child and Family Connections, Children’s Home Society of Florida, Danny and Ron’s Rescue, Families First of Palm Beach County, Greyhound Pets of America, Gulfstream Goodwill Transition To Life Academy, Hanley Center Foundation, Hospice of Palm Beach County, Inc., JAFCO Jewish Adoption & Foster Care Options, Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast Inc., Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Inc., Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Literary Coalition of Palm Beach County, Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Lupus Foundation of America Southeast Florida Chapter, Inc., Palm Healthcare Foundation, Inc., Place Of Hope, South Florida Science Museum, Susan G. Komen For The Cure South Florida, Unicorn Children’s Foundation, Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, The Wellington Community Foundation, The Wellington PTO/PTA Group, Wheels For Kids, and one wild card charity that will be drawn to compete the night of the event from those that applied.

Commenting on the FTI GCC and the company’s continued sponsorship of the event, Dennis Shaughnessy, Chairman of FTI Consulting, stated, “We at FTI Consulting are delighted to extend not only our sponsorship of the Winter Equestrian Festival but to become more active with the charities and their supporters through the $50,000 FTI Challenge, which allows fans to vote online at www.ftigreatcharitychallenge.com for their favorite charity. The top three charities selected by fans are awarded a portion of the $50,000.

The FTI GCC not only gives junior and amateur riders the exceptional opportunity of competing side by side grand prix riders and Olympians, it also gives the less experienced the chance to compete under the lights in the International Arena, something many riders do not get the chance to do, all in celebration of the spirit of giving back to our unique community.

The teams, composed of any combination of two junior or amateur riders and one world-class rider, compete in a relay style format. The first rider competes over eight jumps set at 1.10 meters (m) in height, the second rider jumps over seven fences at 1.20m while the world-class rider competes over eight fences set at 1.30m.

Equestrian Sport Productions, which produces the event, wishes to thank all the generous individuals, families and corporate sponsors who donate to what has become one of Palm Beach County’s biggest and broadest-based charity events.

For VIP box seats please contact Annette Goyette at annette@equestriansport.com. For tables in the International Club please contact Anne Caroline Valtin atannecaroline@equestriansport.com.

For media interested in covering the event, please RSVP to Jennifer Wood at jennifer@jenniferwoodmedia.com.

For more information please contact Brooke Bidgood at brooke@equestriansport.comor 561.784.1132.

The address for the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center is 3401 Equestrian Club Road, Wellington, FL 33414. Equestrian Sport Productions can be contacted atwww.equestriansport.com.

About Fidelity Investments

Fidelity Investments is one of the world’s largest providers of financial services, with assets under administration of $3.4 trillion, including managed assets of $1.5 trillion, as of December 31, 2011. Founded in 1946, the firm is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and many other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals and institutions, as well as through 5,000 financial intermediary firms. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit www.fidelity.com.   

About FTI Consulting

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 3,800 employees located in 23 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 $1.4 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2010. More information can be found atwww.fticonsulting.com       

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

The 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 11 through April 1. The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival 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 be awarded.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Team FarmVet Does It Again! Second Annual Sidelines Tetrathlon Presented by MeadowView & The Riggio Family a Great Success

February 15, 2012 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

WELLINGTON, Fla. (Feb. 14, 2012) – The FarmVet team of Christian Currey, Ashley Holzer, Candice King and Whistle Uys; proved to be the team to beat again this year as they won the Second Annual Sidelines Tetrathlon. Presented by MeadowView & The Riggio Family, the FarmVet team took the early lead to beat teams MeadowView, Palm Beach Equine Clinic and newcomer Flintfields Horse Park. The annual event, which benefits the Equestrian Aid Foundation was held Sunday, February 5, 2012, in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The winning team FarmVet; Ashley Holzer, Christian Currey, Kathryn Currey, Whistle Uys and Candice King. Photo ©Sarah Dodge

The Jim Brandon Equestrian Center was transformed into the wild west – complete with a saloon and jail, where some guests spent part of the evening after being secured by the sheriff’s posse. The saloon, by PortAParty, created a great environment for football fans with four large-screen tvs. Guests were welcomed with signature cocktails from Tito’s Handmade Vodka and appetizers from Oli’s Fashion Grill. Event co-chairmen R. Bruce Duchossois and R. Scot Evans presented an evening of equestrian competition, great food, games and silent auction experiences.

The Awards

After the national anthem, Evans presented the inaugural Equestrian Aid Foundation Luminary Award to legendary horsewoman Jane Forbes Clark.

“I am so honored to stand here tonight,” said Clark as she accepted the award. “My horses, my friends, my life and our equestrian world has really given me so very much and has made me really care about what we do, and how we do it, and how much we love doing what we do. And, no organization takes better care of our equestrian world, or loves it more, than the Equestrian Aid Foundation. That means a great deal to me for what they give to our community and also a great deal to me to be honored by them tonight. So, I thank you all for the support, but I also thank you all for all the support you give this wonderful foundation.”

R. Scot Evans makes a special presentation to Jane Forbes Clark. Photo ©Sarah Dodge

Tom McCutcheon, Sarah B. Willeman, R. Scot Evans, Mandy McCutcheon, Sheryl Kursar. Photo ©Sarah Dodge

Special honors were also given to Sarah B. Willeman for her contributions to the equestrian community. World Equestrian Games Reining Individual Gold Medalist and 2011 USEF/Farnam Equestrian of the Year Tom McCutcheon flew in from Texas, with his wife Mandy, to share his thoughts about Willeman’s impact on the sport of reining and the contributions she’s made as the owner of his medal-winning horse.

“It’s an honor to be recognized alongside Jane Clark who has done so much for equestrian sports and it’s an honor to be recognized by the Equestrian Aid Foundation, which reaches out to help people at the most critical times in the most essential ways,” Willeman said as she accepted her award.

The Competition

Oliver Kennedy announced the equestrian competitions of show jumping, reining, dressage and polo, as world-class horsemen and women participated in a fun discipline switch. Each rider received a Success Equestrian saddle pad, best known for its no-slip material.

The gambler’s choice course, designed by Pierre Jolicoeur, created a fast paced start to the competition. FarmVet’s Whistle Uys narrowly slipped passed Palm Beach Equine Clinic’s Robert Jornavayvaz, Jr. by 10 points.

The fan-favorite reining competition was judged by Mandy McCutcheon, who is the only woman and only nonpro to win $1 million in the sport. Amongst the whoops and hollers, Flintfield Horse Park’s Mary Ann Grant was victorious, beating out FarmVet’s Ashley Holzer in a close class separated by only a few points.

Judged by Courtney King-Dye and EAF recipient Rick Albertson, the dressage competition was set to fun country-western songs and judged on creativity and originality.

It was FarmVet’s Candice King who stole the show again. And as she entered the arena, no one doubted which team she was rooting for on Super Bowl Sunday! Riding to the tune of “Go Big Blue,” King rode into the arena with her own set of cheerleaders, and started her test by passing the football. She did a great impersonation of winning quarter back Eli Manning, complete with football helmet, jersey and shoulder pads! One guest was overheard saying, “I didn’t know Eli could ride so well!”

Ashley Holzer during the reining competition. Photo ©Sarah Dodge

“The EAF is an excellent example of how the equestrian community is there for each other! Great riders, staff, and countless workers all volunteered their time for the help of equestrians needing help,” said Dye. “It was not only a great cause, it was a blast! I awarded the FarmVet Team an extremely high score simply because they showed the team spirit that embodied the night, full with cheerleaders in honor of Super Bowl night!”

MeadowView’s Nicki Simpson earned second, riding to “Save a horse, ride a cowboy.”

Umpired by Marcelo Cabeza of MAC Polo on his pink, polo wrap-clad connemara, the teams battled it out over two seven-minute chukkers. Flintfields Horse Park beat FarmVet in the first match and Palm Beach Equine Clinic edged out MeadowView in the second. Flintfields Horse Park won the polo with the highest score.

With all the points totaled from each discipline, it was Team FarmVet with the victory for the second year in a row!

“I am very excited about the success of the event and how many people showed up to support EAF. I look forward to 2013,” said Currey of FarmVet.

The Sponsors

During the competition guests enjoyed the Taste of Charity. Hand-selected specialty entrees were served from the areas best restaurants and caterers, including Oli’s Fashion Cuisine, International Polo Club, IPC Catering, The Grille Fashion Cuisine, Pangea Grill, Field of Greens, Four Seasons Resort – Palm Beach, Graffito, Agliolio, Beef Wellington, Taylor Made Catering, I’m Greek Today, Top Notch Caterers and Cupcake Cottage.

Gold sponsors included, H n’ D Stables, Goshen Hill Farm, Missy Luczak Smith and Doug Smith, and Air and Power Solutions. Silver sponsors include, Ben and Dawn Adams, HorseShow.com, Van Kampen Boyer Molinari Foundation, Diamante Farms, Tom Wright, Horse Show World, and Empire Marcel. Bronze sponsors include, Margaret H. Duprey, Visse Wedell, Justin Sadrian and Lee Kellogg, Bryan Baldwin, Wood Run Farms, Horses and the Handicapped, Stone Hill Farm, Keller Williams Realty, Debbie Banas, Haven Safe Farm, and Hunt Ltd.

Event sponsors also included Polo Gear; ESI-Equestrian Services International, LLC; TentLogix; Party Tables; Hampton Inn; Palm Beach Parking & Valet Service; Dade Paper; Grill Dome; and Dever Golf Car Sales & Rentals.

The competition was managed by Premier Sport Services. The Tetrathlon event is managed and produced by Sean O’Keefe Events, which specializes in creating signature fundraising events for nonprofits. Visit www.seanokeefeevents.com.

The Teams

MeadowView & The Riggio Family

Seth Ingram

Nicki Simpson

Katherine Bateson Chandler

Nic Roldan



Whistle Uys

Candice King

Ashley Holzer

Christian Currey


Flintfields Horse Park

Carlos Gracida, Jr.

Nick Dello Joio

Mary Ann Grant

Lisa Jacquin


Palm Beach Equine Clinic

Robert Jornayvaz, Jr.

Francisco Zamudio

Juan Matute, Jr.

Jon Ingram

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 to the Equestrian Aid Foundation and revised its mission. Its mission is to assist anyone in the equestrian world suffering from life threatening illnesses and catastrophic 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. Learn more at www.equestrianaidfoundation.org, www.facebook.com/EAF.Ride4Hope or @ride4hope.

Vinceramos Buck Off Final a Rousing Successs

February 14, 2012 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

[Wellington, FL] Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center (VTRC) located in Loxahatchee, FL, celebrated 30 years at its 25th annual Benefit Auction and Dinner on February 11, 2012 at the International Polo Club in Wellington, FL. VTRC, an organization that witnesses countless miracles on a daily basis and truly lives up to its meaning, “to overcome,” uses this annual benefit as a way to raise money for the organization to continue to help further its riders abilities to accomplish just that.

The reaction for the Buck Off has been nothing but positive, creator of the event, Bobbi Rottman with Equine Solutions expressed. “The Buck Off has really morphed off into its own event,” expressed Ruth Menor, executive director of VTRC. “This whole event has just been a wonderful way to get a younger generation involved with Vinceremos and have a fun time doing it.”

The Buck Off consisted of three preliminary rounds, where teams of four compete to stay on the raging mechanical bull, Old School. Each team paid a $100 fee to participate and had to sign a waiver before attempting the bull.

When it came down to the scoring the judges looked for the style of each individual team member and if they could last the whole 15 seconds on the raging mechanical bull. Each member can score up to 20 points from each of the four judges for an overall score out of 100 points. The total is added after each member has attempted the bull and the grand total determines the winning team for the night.

There were five teams including the 2011 champions, the CWD Saddles team, all competing for the title of the 2012 Buck Off Champions. The teams were the Panda Pals, Team Orian, the Palm Beach Equine Clinic Girls, and the Sophie’s Swingers. Each team fought their hardest against the bull, but only one team would triumph and be named champions. That team was Sophie’s Swingers with a grand total of 355. The team members were Loren Hazard-Daniel, Val Renihan, Katherine Walsh, and Marty Huygens.

“I am super excited,” beamed Katherine Walsh. “We all came here to win and we accomplished our goal.”

The judges had nothing, but praise for the winning team. “They did a wonderful job staying on and had great style,” remarked Frank Madden, one of the five judges. “It’s been a great night and we all had a fun time judging the competition.”

Sophie’s Swingers are ready to defend their title next year. The team is ready to go up against anyone who thinks they can take them down. “Bring it on!” said Walsh. Congratulations to the 2012 Buck Off winners. Who will be the next Buck Off Champions?

South Carolina’s Kimberly McCormack Takes Over Fences, Baylor’s Taylor Brown Wins Flat at WEF Collegiate Equitation Challenge

February 13, 2012 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Wellington, FL] The third annual FTI WEF Collegiate Equitation Challenge was held on Friday evening, February 10, 2012,  in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Riders representing 16 National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) varsity teams from around the country gathered to compete in a bracket-style format. The championship trophy, presented by the South Florida Hunter Jumper Association, was awarded to University of South Carolina junior Kimberly McCormack. Laura Chapot was the fastest to win the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge with Bradberry. In the Camping World Adult Amteur 51 & Over Hunters, R. Bruce Duchossois and Just Fred earned the championship ribbon.

Week five of the FTI WEF, sponsored by Spy Coast Farm, will run February 8-12. The highlight class of the week is Saturday night’s $125,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix, presented by Spy Coast Farm. The 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition that conclude on April 1, 2012, and they will be awarding more than $6 million in prize money through the circuit.

Kimberly McCormack. Photo ©Sportfot

Invitations were extended to 16 student athletes who currently participate in collegiate equestrian programs. They rode over fences in courses set at 3’6″ designed by Bobby Murphy of Lexington, KY. The judges were Leo Conroy and Christina Schlusemeyer. The 16 riders were narrowed down earlier in the day to eight who competed under the lights in the International Arena tonight. Horses and tack were generously provided by area professionals. The riders were given a four minute warm-up in which they were allowed four fences before completing the course.

Three rounds were held over fences this evening, and it came down to Kimberly McCormack from University of South Carolina and Lisa Goldman from Baylor University in the final bracket. Both riders completed the final course aboard Chalan, owned by Claire Beth Nogay, who was also given the Best Horse Award. In the first round tonight, McCormack rode Mador Du Chaufour, owned by Sarah Porter, to a score of 84. In the second round, she showed Diamond Creek, owned by Diamond Creek Stables LLC, to a score of 86.5. A final score of 87.5 aboard Chalan gave McCormick the win.

Lisa Goldman finished with scores of 86 aboard St. James, 80 aboard Diamond Creek, and 85 aboard Chalan. The other riders competing over fences tonight were Sarah Mershon of Kansas State University, Carly Anthony of University of Georgia, Haley Jacobi of Texas Christian University, Maggie Earle of Texas A&M University, Jennifer Waxman of Auburn University, and Hillary West of California State University, Fresno.

Carly Anthony was presented with an award for her high score of 90 aboard Balisto, owned by Alex Bozorgi/Believe It Farm, in the first round of competition.

A junior majoring in Geophysics, McCormack was supported tonight by USC head coach Boo Major and fellow teammates and family. McCormack, of Clermont, NJ, was proud to earn the victory for her school.

Carly Anthony and Jill Townsend. Photo ©Sportfot

“It’s great to win for USC. It is great for the school and it is really fun to come out here and represent more than just yourself,” McCormack stated. “I think that is a definite change from when you are just competing for yourself as a junior rider; it puts more pressure on you. It’s a different kind of pressure, but it is definitely more in some ways.”

McCormack has shown in the big ring at PBIEC before, competing in the USHJA International Hunter Derby during last year’s FTI WEF, but still felt the excitement of competing under the lights. “I was out here last year for the hunter derby and I had a really good time with it, so I was just kind of trying to get back into that mentality and just ride the horse I had under me. I just wanted to trust all of the horses and that they were good and they were going to do their jobs, and they all did, so it was great.”

Commenting on her three mounts, McCormack stated, “My horses were great all the way through. They were all really quality horses, so I got lucky I think. They did a really good job with the class.”

The rider thanked her family and trainers for their support. “I want to thank my sister Kristy; she is number one on the list,” McCormack smiled. “She is a trainer and she has been helping me since I was little, and Missy (Clark) really helped me when I rode with her as a junior. My parents were as supportive as can be; they were awesome coming with me to all the shows and they have been great.” 

The collegiate competition also expanded this year to include equitation on the flat with four riders showing tonight. Taylor Brown from Baylor University won the flat championship with her overall score of 164, showing in the final round aboard Winnie, and was presented a trophy donated by Haylie Jayne Rolfe. Katherine Schmidt from the University of South Carolina competed in the final bracket against Brown and finished with a score of 143.

Also competing on the flat were Kimberly Hewson Budnik from Florida State University and Christina Lin from Auburn University. The judges of the flat competition were Melissa Bark and Dee Thomas.

Flat winner Taylor Brown is a junior at Baylor University, the 2010 Big 12 championship team. The rider, from Palmyra, VA, was undefeated this past semester in her third year on the team and was honorable All-American last year over fences. This was her first time competing at the Collegiate Equitation Challenge.

”I love it; it was so much fun,” Brown smiled after her win. “With everyone from the top coming together, they’re bringing it all, no matter what. The flat was a great addition to it; it was a lot of fun.”

”I had no idea what to expect horse-wise,” Brown noted. “My final horse was a dressage horse, so I was like, ‘This is awesome! This is so much fun!’ It took me a little while to figure out the canter transition, but when I figured it out, it was so nice. She was awesome; her lengthening was amazing.”

Brown has shown at the FTI WEF in previous years as a junior. Commenting on the atmosphere of the competition tonight, she stated, “It’s a major adrenaline rush. You go in there and you’re nervous, but you’re so ready to do it. It’s an amazing feeling to win. It is great representing my school and it is a good accomplishment for me as well. I’m proud of myself and proud of the horses. Everyone rode amazing. South Carolina gave me really tough competition. It was nerve-wracking, but fun at the same time.”

Although they did not compete in the final rounds, several other schools were represented in this year’s competition as well. The other riders in this morning’s rounds included Caroline Foltz of Delaware State University, Amy Lang of New Mexico State University, Samantha Elser of Oklahoma State University, Abbie Britton of Sacred Heart University, Santana Wright of South Dakota State University, Julianna Fischer of Southern Methodist University, Nellie Foosaner of University of Miami, and Caroline Cramer of University of Tennessee Martin.

Special thanks go to Jill Townsend, Marion Maybank, Bobby Murphy, Patrick Duncan, David Burton, Michael Stone, Martha Jolicoeur, South Florida Hunter Jumper Association and Katherine Bellissimo.

Article courtesy Jennifer Wood Media