What's Happenin'

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Christmas Carriage Parade Ushers In Holiday Spirit With Equestrian Flair

December 23, 2014 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Christmas Carriage Parade Ushers In Holiday Spirit With Equestrian Flair

By Kim MacMillan

All photos, unless otherwise noted, are by Allen and Kim MacMillan and Tammy Brown/Copyright MacMillan Photography. Photos may not be reproduced without permission. Photos are available for purchase at photo@looncreekenterprises.com or 260-468-2392.  

The historic city of Lebanon, Ohio, is magically transformed into a holiday wonderland the first Saturday in December every year when their annual Christmas carriage parade comes to town. This year was the 26th year for the Lebanon Christmas Festival and Carriage Parade. In 2014 the parade included over 100 entries from four states.

Parade entries ranged from Minis pulling small wagons up to six-horse draft teams pulling beer wagons and include many restored antique carriages and sleighs. Over 20 different breeds of horses and ponies, as well as donkeys and mules, pulled the various carriages, carts and wagons in the 2014 parade. Entries were decorated for the holidays and the drivers, passengers and grooms were dressed for the occasion, many in period costumes styled to match the antique vehicles. This year’s parade dignitaries included Santa and Mrs. Claus, the mayor of Lebanon and the Grinch, who in this case, happily, did not steal Christmas.

There are two parades each year, one right after lunch in the afternoon and another in the evening when the lanterns on the carriages and the Christmas lights lining the streets create a magical atmosphere. The entire city of Lebanon gets into the spirit with a street festival and holiday happenings including:  free horse-drawn wagon rides; tours of the historic Golden Lamb Inn and the 18th century Glendower Mansion; photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus; rides on the North Pole Express vintage train; a gingerbread house display; a Christmas play at the local theatre; “Winter Wonderland” at a local tree farm; a living nativity; breakfast with Santa; a holiday light display, and live entertainment on the downtown stage.

Sara Arseneau of the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce talked about what the carriage parade means to the residents of the area, “The Lebanon Carriage Parade and Christmas Festival is the largest all horse-drawn carriage parade in the United States and is the largest holiday kickoff in Ohio. Words just cannot describe the feeling of magic that our horsemen and these two parades bring to Lebanon.”

Nancy Jackson, the President of the Ohio Valley Carriage Club (OVCC), talked about the parade and her reasons for participating for so many years, “The parade has grown into a significant tourist event. Last year they had around 200,000 visitors. Lots of things keep me coming back to the parade. The camaraderie first comes to mind, wonderful horse people of like minds. The next reason for me would be the historical significance of horse-drawn vehicles. Most of the vehicles are antiques. The idea of having horse-drawn vehicles in a town as beautiful as Lebanon is really meaningful. When you consider that our country was built on horse power, it is nice to remind ourselves about it once in awhile. It’s also fun to play dress up!”

Another long-time parade participant and resident of Lebanon, Linda Freeman, proudly conveyed Santa and Mrs. Claus into town this year driving her two Hackney Horses to an antique sleigh (put on runners for the parade). “This is the twenty-third time I have been in the parade. It’s changed a lot; I’ve used different horses and carriages over the years. It’s always fun dressing up in Victorian costumes and ‘pretending’ for the parade. I like to participate in the parade because I am an enthusiastic, recreational driver and I like to use my horses in as many different situations as I can. It is fun. It takes hours and hours and hours of work to get ready for a parade like this, but it is a neat opportunity to give something back to the community by volunteering to be in the parade,” said Freeman.

Lebanon, which was founded in 1802, is situated about half way between Dayton and Cincinnati just east of Interstate 75 and to the north of Interstate 71. Famous former Lebanon residents include astronaut Neil Armstrong who lived with his family on a farm outside of the city after his lunar landing mission, actor Woody Harrelson of Cheers fame, and Thomas Corwin, governor of Ohio from 1840 – 1842 and U.S. Senator from 1844 – 1850. Two motion pictures were filmed in Lebanon, Harper Valley PTA starring Barbara Eden in 1979 and Milk Money featuring Ed Harris and Melanie Griffith in 1994.

Beyond the arts and craft booths at the Christmas Festival, Lebanon has a plethora of shopping and dining opportunities including a large antique mall, many small specialty shops and the Golden Lamb Inn. The inn was built in 1803 and is on the National Historic Register. Twelve U.S. presidents from John Quincy Adams to George W. Bush and a large number of other famous people including Mark Twain, Charles Dickens and Harriet Beecher Stowe have stayed in the inn. Festival attendees can dine in the inn or take a peek at the rooms where these famous people have stayed.

We wish we could show you every entry in the 2014 parade, but space does not allow. They were all awesome! See below a sampling of the entries. We encourage you to experience the parade for yourself in 2015!

Next year’s Lebanon Christmas Festival is Saturday, December 5, 2015, with parades at 1 and 7 p.m. Eastern Time. Other festival activities run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information about attending or participating in the Lebanon Christmas Carriage Parade and Festival contact the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce, 513-932-1100 or sara@lebanonchamber.org or go to http://www.lebanonchamber.org/.

1-Opening the parade and carrying the American flag was the Patriot Farms Hitch of Haflingers Casey and Patty driven by Garth Louth. The Louth family, Rockford, Ohio, paid tribute to U.S. troops serving around the world and asked the crowd to remember veterans and their families during the holidays and throughout the year.

1-Opening the parade and carrying the American flag was the Patriot Farms Hitch of Haflingers Casey and Patty driven by Garth Louth. The Louth family, Rockford, Ohio, paid tribute to U.S. troops serving around the world and asked the crowd to remember veterans and their families during the holidays and throughout the year.

2-Driver Linda Freeman (dressed as the toy soldier) of Lebanon, Ohio, had the honor of delivering Santa and Mrs. Claus to town. She drove her two Argentinean-born Hackney Horse geldings Brownie (age 17 on the driver’s left) and Bill (age 15 on the right) to a circa 1880’s antique Hudson Valley six-passenger sleigh which was mounted on wheels for the parade. The sleigh is owned by Michael and Carol Burke, Loveland, Ohio, (who are riding in the sleigh as Santa and Mrs. Claus respectively). The sleigh cost $20,000 to restore and the 2014 parade was the first time it had been put to horses. The sleigh was accompanied by out walkers dressed in period costumes, both from Lebanon:  Tracy Raikes, who is walking Linda’s rescued “pound puppy” Darwin, and Tracy’s son Christopher (not shown in the photo).

2-Driver Linda Freeman (dressed as the toy soldier) of Lebanon, Ohio, had the honor of delivering Santa and Mrs. Claus to town. She drove her two Argentinean-born Hackney Horse geldings Brownie (age 17 on the driver’s left) and Bill (age 15 on the right) to a circa 1880’s antique Hudson Valley six-passenger sleigh which was mounted on wheels for the parade. The sleigh is owned by Michael and Carol Burke, Loveland, Ohio, (who are riding in the sleigh as Santa and Mrs. Claus respectively). The sleigh cost $20,000 to restore and the 2014 parade was the first time it had been put to horses. The sleigh was accompanied by out walkers dressed in period costumes, both from Lebanon: Tracy Raikes, who is walking Linda’s rescued “pound puppy” Darwin, and Tracy’s son Christopher (not shown in the photo).

3-A peek down Broadway Street, the main drag of Lebanon, shows in the foreground parade entry number 41, an six-horse Mini hitch owned and driven by Judd Porter, of St. Louisville, Ohio, with Lebanon Mayor Amy Brewer riding shotgun with subsequent entries trailing behind them.  Around 185,000 people lined the streets of Lebanon to view the 2014 afternoon and evening parades. The parade was well organized with a large number of volunteers from the area and from the Ohio Horseman’s Council (dressed in either yellow or green vests) who helped with crowd control, answered questions and passed out complimentary festival programs. At the end of the parade the city street cleaner made the rounds to tidy up the “horse exhaust”.

3-A peek down Broadway Street, the main drag of Lebanon, shows in the foreground parade entry number 41, an six-horse Mini hitch owned and driven by Judd Porter, of St. Louisville, Ohio, with Lebanon Mayor Amy Brewer riding shotgun with subsequent entries trailing behind them. Around 185,000 people lined the streets of Lebanon to view the 2014 afternoon and evening parades. The parade was well organized with a large number of volunteers from the area and from the Ohio Horseman’s Council (dressed in either yellow or green vests) who helped with crowd control, answered questions and passed out complimentary festival programs. At the end of the parade the city street cleaner made the rounds to tidy up the “horse exhaust”.

4-Charlie Poppe, Meadowbrook Farm, Cincinnati, Ohio, has participated in every Lebanon Christmas Carriage Parade since its inception in 1989. In 2014 he drove his Hackney Pony geldings Oh Canada (age 11 on driver’s left) and Facebook (age 9 on right) to an antique Victoria carriage built by the Mulbacher Company in Paris, France. The carriage was made for the first 1876 Centennial, the world’s first exhibition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the U.S.A.  (held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), where it earned a gold certificate for the best vehicle in the formal vehicles class. After the exhibition, Sarah Roosevelt, FDR’s mother, purchased the carriage for their Hyde Park Estate on the Hudson River. FDR used it for one of his inaugurations.  The carriage is a ¾-size vehicle which was popular from the Civil War through around 1900 following the Spanish American War. The reason for making this size of carriage was to avoid their horses being requisitioned by the U.S. War Department for use by the Army; the Army was only interested in horses over 15 hands so the ¾-size vehicles were made to be pulled by smaller horses and ponies. Out walkers for Poppe’s carriage were Wade and Luke and their girlfriends rode in the carriage for the afternoon parade. Poppe’s extensive collection of about 40 historic carriages can be viewed on his Facebook page.  Poppe talked about his experience of participating in all of the parades thus far, “The very first year of the parade, it was by invitation only. It has mushroomed into a fabulous event. The nice thing is that the parade has stayed all horse-drawn. At night it becomes a magical wonderland with the lights. It is really beautiful.”

4-Charlie Poppe, Meadowbrook Farm, Cincinnati, Ohio, has participated in every Lebanon Christmas Carriage Parade since its inception in 1989. In 2014 he drove his Hackney Pony geldings Oh Canada (age 11 on driver’s left) and Facebook (age 9 on right) to an antique Victoria carriage built by the Mulbacher Company in Paris, France. The carriage was made for the first 1876 Centennial, the world’s first exhibition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the U.S.A. (held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), where it earned a gold certificate for the best vehicle in the formal vehicles class. After the exhibition, Sarah Roosevelt, FDR’s mother, purchased the carriage for their Hyde Park Estate on the Hudson River. FDR used it for one of his inaugurations.
The carriage is a ¾-size vehicle which was popular from the Civil War through around 1900 following the Spanish American War. The reason for making this size of carriage was to avoid their horses being requisitioned by the U.S. War Department for use by the Army; the Army was only interested in horses over 15 hands so the ¾-size vehicles were made to be pulled by smaller horses and ponies. Out walkers for Poppe’s carriage were Wade and Luke and their girlfriends rode in the carriage for the afternoon parade. Poppe’s extensive collection of about 40 historic carriages can be viewed on his Facebook page.
Poppe talked about his experience of participating in all of the parades thus far, “The very first year of the parade, it was by invitation only. It has mushroomed into a fabulous event. The nice thing is that the parade has stayed all horse-drawn. At night it becomes a magical wonderland with the lights. It is really beautiful.”

5-The Kroger grocery store chain owns an original Barney delivery wagon which was driven in the parade by Stan Voorhees. The wagon was used by the original Kroger family store based in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the late 1880’s. The wagon was pulled by two Percherons.

5-The Kroger grocery store chain owns an original Barney delivery wagon which was driven in the parade by Stan Voorhees. The wagon was used by the original Kroger family store based in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the late 1880’s. The wagon was pulled by two Percherons.

6-Bob and Angel Kilburn, Kilburn Farm, Morrow, Ohio, drove their two Percherons hitched to a festive red wagon.

6-Bob and Angel Kilburn, Kilburn Farm, Morrow, Ohio, drove their two Percherons hitched to a festive red wagon.

7-This cute 17-year-old Welsh-cross pony mare named Buckeye, is owned and driven Cindy Glaser, Mariah Pines Farm, Tipp City, Ohio. Buckeye is hitched to a circa 1900s wicker governess cart that was formerly owned by Sally Coop of Vandalia and was restored by the Glasners. This was Buckeye’s tenth time to participate in the Lebanon parade.

7-This cute 17-year-old Welsh-cross pony mare named Buckeye, is owned and driven Cindy Glaser, Mariah Pines Farm, Tipp City, Ohio. Buckeye is hitched to a circa 1900s wicker governess cart that was formerly owned by Sally Coop of Vandalia and was restored by the Glasners. This was Buckeye’s tenth time to participate in the Lebanon parade.

8-Steve Muterspaw of Lebanon drove his Mini mare Jenny to a sulky in this year’s parade. Steve’s passengers were his wife Susan and granddaughter Leanne Nicole Hawkins. Take note of Jenny’s Christmas socks!

8-Steve Muterspaw of Lebanon drove his Mini mare Jenny to a sulky in this year’s parade. Steve’s passengers were his wife Susan and granddaughter Leanne Nicole Hawkins. Take note of Jenny’s Christmas socks!

9-This adorable Mini mare Savannah, who wore a festive garland around her neck, pulled a cart driven by her owner Karen Dalton, Franklin, Ohio, who was accompanied by her grandchildren.

9-This adorable Mini mare Savannah, who wore a festive garland around her neck, pulled a cart driven by her owner Karen Dalton, Franklin, Ohio, who was accompanied by her grandchildren.

10-Art Brown, Rocky Creek Farms, Middle Point Ohio, proudly drove his blue and white clad Appaloosa Mini Gingersnap down Broadway during the parade.

10-Art Brown, Rocky Creek Farms, Middle Point Ohio, proudly drove his blue and white clad Appaloosa Mini Gingersnap down Broadway during the parade.

11-The elves, a.k.a. the Leveck family from Jamestown, Ohio, were appropriately clad in red and green. Jane Leveck drove this Amish-made wagon pulled by mini donkeys Lilly and Bailey who were led by Kandy and Renee Leveck.

11-The elves, a.k.a. the Leveck family from Jamestown, Ohio, were appropriately clad in red and green. Jane Leveck drove this Amish-made wagon pulled by mini donkeys Lilly and Bailey who were led by Kandy and Renee Leveck.

12-Junior driver Gretchen Green from Circle G Ranch, Burbank, Ohio, drove this flashy Mini to a doctor’s buggy.

12-Junior driver Gretchen Green from Circle G Ranch, Burbank, Ohio, drove this flashy Mini to a doctor’s buggy.

13-Resembling the previous Mini in color and markings, only in extra large size, this Clydesdale named Guiness pulled an Amish cart driven by his owner Karen Greene of Hillcroft Crescent Farm, South Charleston, Ohio. Karen and Guiness are accompanied by Don Marion walking alongside the cart. This was their first appearance in the Lebanon Christmas Parade.

13-Resembling the previous Mini in color and markings, only in extra large size, this Clydesdale named Guiness pulled an Amish cart driven by his owner Karen Greene of Hillcroft Crescent Farm, South Charleston, Ohio. Karen and Guiness are accompanied by Don Marion walking alongside the cart. This was their first appearance in the Lebanon Christmas Parade.

14-Another first time entry in the parade was this petite buckboard wagon pulled by a pinto Mini from Riverside Topsoil and Stock Farm, Morrow, Ohio. Jessica Whitt was driving accompanied in the wagon by her family.

14-Another first time entry in the parade was this petite buckboard wagon pulled by a pinto Mini from Riverside Topsoil and Stock Farm, Morrow, Ohio. Jessica Whitt was driving accompanied in the wagon by her family.

15-Jocelyn, a.k.a. Josey, a 12-year-old Friesian-Percheron cross mare driven by Nancy Juergens, CN Ranch, Hartford, Ohio. Josey pulled a 1947 two-seat surrey owned by Don and Karen Heaberlin of Lebanon. This carriage was sponsored by the Humane Association of Warren County and riding in the carriage are two of the founders of the association, Karen Heaberlin (front seat next to Nancy) and Mari Lee Schwarzwalder in the back seat holding Nancy’s rescued Beagle Daisy Darlin’. Nancy’s husband Carl also drove in the parade with Josey’s dam, a 20-year-old Percheron mare named Sally, and Josey’s full sister Jillian, 10, pulling a beautiful white vis-à-vis carriage (French for face to face, in this case meaning the seats in the carriage face one another). “Our horses not only drive, but we also trail ride them. Josey has ridden down Bryce Canyon in Utah and also in Wyoming and Montana. Our horses love to do things. We’ve been in more states than most people get to riding our horses. The first year that Josey was in the Lebanon parade was in 2008. Her dam Sally was in the parade for the first time in 2004. We love coming down here; Lebanon is a beautiful backdrop and a lovely historic, quiet country town.”

15-Jocelyn, a.k.a. Josey, a 12-year-old Friesian-Percheron cross mare driven by Nancy Juergens, CN Ranch, Hartford, Ohio. Josey pulled a 1947 two-seat surrey owned by Don and Karen Heaberlin of Lebanon. This carriage was sponsored by the Humane Association of Warren County and riding in the carriage are two of the founders of the association, Karen Heaberlin (front seat next to Nancy) and Mari Lee Schwarzwalder in the back seat holding Nancy’s rescued Beagle Daisy Darlin’. Nancy’s husband Carl also drove in the parade with Josey’s dam, a 20-year-old Percheron mare named Sally, and Josey’s full sister Jillian, 10, pulling a beautiful white vis-à-vis carriage (French for face to face, in this case meaning the seats in the carriage face one another). “Our horses not only drive, but we also trail ride them. Josey has ridden down Bryce Canyon in Utah and also in Wyoming and Montana. Our horses love to do things. We’ve been in more states than most people get to riding our horses. The first year that Josey was in the Lebanon parade was in 2008. Her dam Sally was in the parade for the first time in 2004. We love coming down here; Lebanon is a beautiful backdrop and a lovely historic, quiet country town.”

16-The Wells Fargo stagecoach driven by Ty Kukhan, Mason City, Iowa, and owned by Wells Fargo Bank. The coach is pulled by four matching chestnut Quarter Horses. Riding in the stagecoach are Brandi Aliaga with her daughters Maddie and Sophia and Robert and Robyn Buskirk and their children Elle and Ryan.

16-The Wells Fargo stagecoach driven by Ty Kukhan, Mason City, Iowa, and owned by Wells Fargo Bank. The coach is pulled by four matching chestnut Quarter Horses. Riding in the stagecoach are Brandi Aliaga with her daughters Maddie and Sophia and Robert and Robyn Buskirk and their children Elle and Ryan.

17-Making their seventeenth appearance in the Lebanon Christmas Carriage Parade was the six-horse Clydesdale team from Old Tyme Travel driven by Debbie Bechstein. The hitch was sponsored by Trihealth.

17-Making their seventeenth appearance in the Lebanon Christmas Carriage Parade was the six-horse Clydesdale team from Old Tyme Travel driven by Debbie Bechstein. The hitch was sponsored by Trihealth.

18-The six-Mini Horse hitch was a parade favorite. The adorable team is owned and driven by Judd Porter, St. Louisville, Ohio, with Lebanon Mayor Amy Brewer on the seat next to him and other Lebanon residents riding along in the back of the wagon.

18-The six-Mini Horse hitch was a parade favorite. The adorable team is owned and driven by Judd Porter, St. Louisville, Ohio, with Lebanon Mayor Amy Brewer on the seat next to him and other Lebanon residents riding along in the back of the wagon.

19-Nancy Jackson, Maineville, Ohio, the President of the Ohio Valley Carriage Club (OVCC), and her Percheron gelding Buck (then 24 years old) pulling her crane necked brett carriage built around 1840 by a company in Newark, New Jersey, in the 2012 Lebanon Christmas Carriage Parade. They participated in 15 previous Lebanon parades, but Buck is now in semi-retirement at age 26, so Jackson did not drive in the 2014 parade. However, Jackson was an out walker for another carriage driver this year. The Jacksons purchased the brett on e-Bay and it was restored by her husband over a six-year period.  Photo by Nancy’s father-in-law Don Cox

19-Nancy Jackson, Maineville, Ohio, the President of the Ohio Valley Carriage Club (OVCC), and her Percheron gelding Buck (then 24 years old) pulling her crane necked brett carriage built around 1840 by a company in Newark, New Jersey, in the 2012 Lebanon Christmas Carriage Parade. They participated in 15 previous Lebanon parades, but Buck is now in semi-retirement at age 26, so Jackson did not drive in the 2014 parade. However, Jackson was an out walker for another carriage driver this year. The Jacksons purchased the brett on e-Bay and it was restored by her husband over a six-year period. Photo by Nancy’s father-in-law Don Cox

20-The finale to the Christmas Carriage Parade is traditionally the 1892 Airens fire pumper owned by Jack Selvey and pulled by a four-abreast team consisting of Percherons and pinto drafts. This year four generations of one family were represented on the pumper, driver Gary Hopkins from Lynchburg, Ohio, with his daughter Greta Branham, grandson Josh Branham and great granddaughter Emma Branham.

20-The finale to the Christmas Carriage Parade is traditionally the 1892 Airens fire pumper owned by Jack Selvey and pulled by a four-abreast team consisting of Percherons and pinto drafts. This year four generations of one family were represented on the pumper, driver Gary Hopkins from Lynchburg, Ohio, with his daughter Greta Branham, grandson Josh Branham and great granddaughter Emma Branham.

21-A wide variety of tempting treats and beautiful arts and crafts were available for purchase in the Christmas Festival Foods and Crafts Alley. In addition, downtown Lebanon has a large number of shops and restaurants open for business on parade day. The Tack Trunk tack shop in Lebanon also has a holiday open house during the festival.

21-A wide variety of tempting treats and beautiful arts and crafts were available for purchase in the Christmas Festival Foods and Crafts Alley. In addition, downtown Lebanon has a large number of shops and restaurants open for business on parade day. The Tack Trunk tack shop in Lebanon also has a holiday open house during the festival.

22-The historic Golden Lamb Inn is the oldest continuously operating inn in Ohio. The inn was built in 1803 and is on the National Historic Register. Twelve U.S. presidents from John Quincy Adams to George W. Bush and a large number of other famous people including Mark Twain, Charles Dickens and Harriet Beecher Stowe have stayed in the inn. Festival attendees can dine in the inn or take a peek at the rooms where these famous people have stayed.

22-The historic Golden Lamb Inn is the oldest continuously operating inn in Ohio. The inn was built in 1803 and is on the National Historic Register. Twelve U.S. presidents from John Quincy Adams to George W. Bush and a large number of other famous people including Mark Twain, Charles Dickens and Harriet Beecher Stowe have stayed in the inn. Festival attendees can dine in the inn or take a peek at the rooms where these famous people have stayed.

23-The sign hanging on the historic Golden Lamb Inn on Broadway Street in Lebanon. The inn has a tavern, a gift shop, four public and four private dining rooms offering a gourmet menu and four flours with forty total guest rooms.

23-The sign hanging on the historic Golden Lamb Inn on Broadway Street in Lebanon. The inn has a tavern, a gift shop, four public and four private dining rooms offering a gourmet menu and four floors with forty total guest rooms.

24-In keeping with the holiday season the Lebanon Presbyterian Church youth group presented a living nativity on the corner of Warren and East streets.

24-In keeping with the holiday season the Lebanon Presbyterian Church youth group presented a living nativity on the corner of Warren and East streets.

2014 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Wrap Up & Photo Gallery

November 22, 2014 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

2014 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Wrap Up & Photo Gallery

By Kim MacMillan, MacMillan Photography & Media Services

Photos by Kim & Allen MacMillan, Tammy Brown and Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography Media Services. All photos are copyrighted. For more information or to purchase photos please contact us at photo@looncreekenterprises.com.

The 92nd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair wrapped up in Toronto last weekend with dozens of champions being named in the Royal Horse Show, as well as in the Agriculture Show. Roughly 300,000 visitors attended the Fair which ran from November 7 – November 16 at the Canadian Exhibition Place located near Lake Ontario in the heart of Toronto, Canada’s largest city.

The Royal Horse Show is one of the last remaining grand, old-style horse shows packing the stands each day with fairgoers from Canada and around the world. The show offered classes for draft horse hitches, antique carriages, hunters, jumpers, dressage horses, Welsh Ponies, Standardbreds, Hackneys, Thoroughbreds and Canadian Sport Horses. The popular annual Canine/Equine Challenge class held on the final Saturday combines a jumper horse and rider pair with a canine agility competitor and handler as each runs over their own course (show jumping for the horses and agility for the dogs) with the two scores being combined to determine the winners.

The first week featured a rodeo, the always exciting indoor eventing and Shetland Pony Grand National racing complete with tiny jockeys and simulated steeplechase fences. The second week of the Royal featured Australian “Bush Poet” and horse trainer Guy McLean performing with his four home-bred, red dun Australian Stock Horses. Now based in Texas, McLean entertained the audience with his unique mix of humor while riding one horse and working the other three at liberty.

The Royal international show jumping tour continued in the second week including:  the $100,000 Hickstead FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix on November 12 (won by McLain Ward and Rothchild from the U.S.A.); the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open on November 14 (won by Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo from the U.S.A.); the always entertaining $15,000 Canine,/Equine Challenge class (won by Jessica Springsteen and Zero from the U.S.A. plus their dog and handler partners) held in the afternoon on November 15, and the $75,000 Big Ben International Challenge (won by Nicola Philappaerts from Belgium and Challenge Vd Begijnakker) on November 15.

Leading Canadian Rider was Jonathon Miller, Leading International Rider was McLain Ward of the U.S.A. and the Leading Canadian Jumper Horse was Game Ready owned by Susan Grange and ridden by Ireland’s Connor Swail.

The Royal is the largest indoor combined horse show and agricultural fair in the world. The Royal Agriculture show features classes for livestock, farm crops and garden produce, as well as unique classes such as the Gay Lea Butter Sculpture Contest (see gallery of sculptures here:   http://www.royalfair.org/node/229), the Most Unusually Shaped Vegetable Class, and the Ladies Lead and Wool Class where the handler and sheep are both dressed in wool (see description of this class at http://www.royalfair.org/td-ladies-lead-and-wool).

The 4-H bunny jumping competition, held in the President’s Choice Animal Theater arena for the second year in a row, was a very popular program. The competition involved each 4-H member taking their pet rabbit through a course that was a cross between a show jumping course and a dog agility course, only with heights set appropriately for rabbits. Other events featured in the President’s Choice Animal Theater were:  educational clinics for dressage, eventing and show jumping (to educate the crowds about the sports competing in the upcoming 2015 Pan American Games to be held in Toronto); Goats on the Go; Super Dogs agility performances; a performance by the Medieval Times cast; The Spirit of the Horse breed demonstrations, and more.

The Royal is truly a unique competition with the top international level horse show alongside the Canadian agriculture showcase with a host of shopping, entertainment and dining options as well. Hundreds of merchants offered wares ranging from antiques and artwork to tack and riding clothes and from clothing and home improvement products options to health and beauty items and gifts. There were a number of farms offering Canadian grown meats, produce and dairy products for sampling and purchase as well. Cooking classes, riding clinics, horse breed demonstrations, wandering musicians, square dancing, children’s’ activities, Toyotas to test drive, and Super Dogs performances were among the many entertainment and educational programs offered during the Royal.

For more information and a complete list of results to go www.royalfair.org. The 2015 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair will run November 6 – 15.

1-McLain Ward and Rothchild won the $100,000 Hickstead FEI World Cup Grand Prix on November 12.

1-McLain Ward and Rothchild won the $100,000 Hickstead FEI World Cup Grand Prix on November 12.

2-U.S. rider McLain Ward won the coveted Leading International Rider sash at the 2014 Royal Winter Fair. He has been competing at the Royal for around 20 years and loves the atmosphere.

2-U.S. rider McLain Ward won the coveted Leading International Rider sash at the 2014 Royal Winter Fair. He has been competing at the Royal for around 20 years and loves the atmosphere.

3-Jonathon Miller’s mount Calvin Klein could hardly control his enthusiasm at Miller being named Leading Canadian Rider at the2014 Royal.

3-Jonathon Miller’s mount Calvin Klein could hardly control his enthusiasm at Miller being named Leading Canadian Rider at the2014 Royal.

4-Karen Pavicic and Don Daiquiri won the Royal Invitational Grand Prix dressage competition, which included a Grand Prix class on one evening and a Grand Prix Freestyle on the next evening.

4-Karen Pavicic and Don Daiquiri won the Royal Invitational Grand Prix dressage competition, which included a Grand Prix class on one evening and a Grand Prix Freestyle on the next evening.

5-Wysteria Lane owned and ridden by Nancy Fagan, won the Lieutenant Governor’s Cup class on the final Saturday morning. The Governor General’s Cup (in-hand) and Lieutenant Governor’s Cup (under saddle) classes are the highlight of the sport horse breed show. The classes are for three-year-old Canadian-bred horses suitable to become sport horses.

5-Wysteria Lane owned and ridden by Nancy Fagan, won the Lieutenant Governor’s Cup class on the final Saturday morning. The Governor General’s Cup (in-hand) and Lieutenant Governor’s Cup (under saddle) classes are the highlight of the sport horse breed show. The classes are for three-year-old Canadian-bred horses suitable to become sport horses.

6-The 2014 Governor General‘s Cup winner was Abbey Road FF (by Aloha) shown by Ronnie Davidson and owned by Shannon and Chris Smith.

6-The 2014 Governor General‘s Cup winner was Abbey Road FF (by Aloha) shown by Ronnie Davidson and owned by Shannon and Chris Smith.

7-A small pony hunter packs his precious cargo around the Ricoh Coliseum arena during the Royal Horse Show. The hunter show included classes for ponies, juniors, adult amateurs and also featured the Canadian Hunter Derby.

7-A small pony hunter packs his precious cargo around the Ricoh Coliseum arena during the Royal Horse Show. The hunter show included classes for ponies, juniors, adult amateurs and also featured the Canadian Hunter Derby.

8- First place yearling Thoroughbred colt Copy Cat Creek (by Yellow Creek), handled by Amber Cranston and owned by Sandra Zelmer. The Royal Horse Show is home to the country’s most prestigious breed show with classes for Thoroughbreds, sport horses, draft horses and Welsh Ponies.

8- First place yearling Thoroughbred colt Copy Cat Creek (by Yellow Creek), handled by Amber Cranston and owned by Sandra Zelmer. The Royal Horse Show is home to the country’s most prestigious breed show with classes for Thoroughbreds, sport horses, draft horses and Welsh Ponies.

9-Champion Thoroughbred stallion at the 2014 Royal, Simply Decadent by Niigon, handled by Marc Desautels, and owned by Treena McClelland-Desautels.

9-Champion Thoroughbred stallion at the 2014 Royal, Simply Decadent by Niigon, handled by Marc Desautels, and owned by Treena McClelland-Desautels.

10-The diminutive and feisty pony jumpers are fun to watch as their determined riders pilot them around a miniature Grand Prix course.

10-The diminutive and feisty pony jumpers are fun to watch as their determined riders pilot them around a miniature Grand Prix course.

11-The ground shakes as the draft horse hitches take center stage. Here 11 four-horse hitches were lined up in the arena all at one time; that’s a huge amount of horse power!

11-The ground shakes as the draft horse hitches take center stage. Here 11 four-horse hitches were lined up in the arena all at one time; that’s a huge amount of horse power!

12-The Green Meadows Carriage competition was for antique carriages pulled by four matching horses. The drivers, passengers and grooms were all dressed in formal costume.   The First Place Red ribbon went to Glenmore Farms Entry driven by Glenn A Werry Jr.

12-The Green Meadows Carriage competition was for antique carriages pulled by four matching horses. The drivers, passengers and grooms were all dressed in formal costume. The First Place Red ribbon went to Glenmore Farms Entry driven by Glenn A Werry Jr.

12-The Green Meadows Carriage competition was for antique carriages pulled by four matching horses. The drivers, passengers and grooms were all dressed in formal costume.   The First Place Red ribbon went to Glenmore Farms Entry driven by Glenn A Werry Jr.

12-The Green Meadows Carriage competition was for antique carriages pulled by four matching horses. The drivers, passengers and grooms were all dressed in formal costume. The First Place Red ribbon went to Glenmore Farms Entry driven by Glenn A Werry Jr.

13-The “Road Horse” classes feature Standardbred race horses complete with sulkies and racing silks.

13-The “Road Horse” classes feature Standardbred race horses complete with sulkies and racing silks.

14-A favorite of the audience and the competitors alike, the indoor eventing offered lots of action and thrills. Canadian Olympian Jessica Phoenix rode Charlotte Schickedanz’ Trakehner mare Abby GS.

14-A favorite of the audience and the competitors alike, the indoor eventing offered lots of action and thrills. Canadian Olympian Jessica Phoenix rode Charlotte Schickedanz’ Trakehner mare Abby GS.

15-Educational clinics for show jumping, dressage and eventing took place in the President’s Choice Animal Theatre arena. Here show jumper Hyde Moffatt explains the finer points of competing over fences.

15-Educational clinics for show jumping, dressage and eventing took place in the President’s Choice Animal Theatre arena. Here show jumper Hyde Moffatt explains the finer points of competing over fences.

16-The featured equestrian entertainer at the Royal Winter Fair in 2014 was Australian “Bush Poet” Guy McLean and his four  home-bred red dun Australian Stock Horses.  For his signature finale three horses stand over one horse laying down as guy wails his bullwhips.

16-The featured equestrian entertainer at the Royal Winter Fair in 2014 was Australian “Bush Poet” Guy McLean and his four home-bred red dun Australian Stock Horses. For his signature finale three horses stand over one horse laying down as guy wails his bullwhips.

17-Twins in a stroller were greeted by a friendly lamb.

17-Twins in a stroller were greeted by a friendly lamb.

18-Goats were everywhere at the Royal. The Royal Goat Show offered many prizes, plus a “Goats on the Go” presentation in the President’s Choice Animal Theater and also many goats in the pens in the Pizza Pizza Petting Farm. You could also sample and purchase many flavors of goat’s milk cheeses at a number of booths in the shopping area

18-Goats were everywhere at the Royal. The Royal Goat Show offered many prizes, plus a “Goats on the Go” presentation in the President’s Choice Animal Theater and also many goats in the pens in the Pizza Pizza Petting Farm. You could also sample and purchase many flavors of goat’s milk cheeses at a number of booths in the shopping area

19-Some white Sebastopol geese in the Pizza Pizza Petting Farm. Agriculture historians think that this goose breed was developed either in Central Europe or the Ukraine.

19-Some white Sebastopol geese in the Pizza Pizza Petting Farm. Agriculture historians think that this goose breed was developed either in Central Europe or the Ukraine.

20-This Jersey dairy cow tethered in the Royal barn area appears to be telling onlookers all about her show career.

20-This Jersey dairy cow tethered in the Royal barn area appears to be telling onlookers all about her show career.

21-Alyssa Deneau, Coldwater, ON, and her ewe Karma, contestants in the Ladies Lead to Wool class

21-Alyssa Deneau, Coldwater, ON, and her ewe Karma, contestants in the Ladies Lead to Wool class

22-In Canada the color of the first place ribbon is red rather than blue as in the U.S.A.

22-In Canada the color of the first place ribbon is red rather than blue as in the U.S.A.

23-Garden and farm produce exhibits added color to the show. It was anyone’s guess how many pumpkin pies this large pumpkin would make.

23-Garden and farm produce exhibits added color to the show. It was anyone’s guess how many pumpkin pies this large pumpkin would make.

24-4-H bunny jumping was a huge hit at the Royal Winter Fair. Featured in the President’s Choice Animal Theater, each 4-H member attempted to put their rabbit through a cross between a show jumping course and a dog agility course.

24-4-H bunny jumping was a huge hit at the Royal Winter Fair. Featured in the President’s Choice Animal Theater, each 4-H member attempted to put their rabbit through a cross between a show jumping course and a dog agility course.

25-The 2014 Royal Agricultural Fair Dairy Show Supreme Champion, a Jersey cow. Jersey’s are known for their sweet temperaments and the high percentage of cream they produce in their milk making the milk great for premium ice cream production.

25-The 2014 Royal Agricultural Fair Dairy Show Supreme Champion, a Jersey cow. Jersey’s are known for their sweet temperaments and the high percentage of cream they produce in their milk making the milk great for premium ice cream production.

26-There were many educational agricultural exhibits at the Royal, such as this egg fact:  One good hen can lay around 332 eggs in a year.

26-There were many educational agricultural exhibits at the Royal, such as this egg fact: One good hen can lay around 332 eggs in a year.

27-Butter sculptures are a popular exhibit at the Royal Winter Fair. Young artists are given a theme, a large amount of butter and a time frame in which to complete their masterpieces while working in a cooler. The sculptures are judged and then put on display for the fair attendees to view.

27-Butter sculptures are a popular exhibit at the Royal Winter Fair. Young artists are given a theme, a large amount of butter and a time frame in which to complete their masterpieces while working in a cooler. The sculptures are judged and then put on display for the fair attendees to view.

28-Several antique tractors and trucks were on display in the Royal shopping area.

28-Several antique tractors and trucks were on display in the Royal shopping area.

29-Cooking demonstrations were offered at several locations throughout the Royal Winter Fair. Celebrity chefs made appearances and the Canadian dairy council offered classes in cooking with cheese.

29-Cooking demonstrations were offered at several locations throughout the Royal Winter Fair. Celebrity chefs made appearances and the Canadian dairy council offered classes in cooking with cheese.

30-The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is a great place to do Christmas shopping. Several hundred merchant booths offered a wide variety of wares from antiques and home décor to tack, horse care products and riding clothes, to health and beauty aids, to food and gift items.

30-The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is a great place to do Christmas shopping. Several hundred merchant booths offered a wide variety of wares from antiques and home décor to tack, horse care products and riding clothes, to health and beauty aids, to food and gift items.

31-This enterprising young musician was one of several wandering performers who added to the festive atmosphere at the Royal. The Toronto area Salvation Army brass band was another group who performed.

31-This enterprising young musician was one of several wandering performers who added to the festive atmosphere at the Royal. The Toronto area Salvation Army brass band was another group who performed.

32-An artistic horse sculpture made of cardboard and packing tape mounted on a base decorated with photographs of war horses honored the working horses of World War I and World War II. Artwork in various mediums is also featured at the Royal – everything from oil paintings, watercolors, woodworking, textiles, ceramics and sculpture were available for viewing.

32-An artistic horse sculpture made of cardboard and packing tape mounted on a base decorated with photographs of war horses honored the working horses of World War I and World War II. Artwork in various mediums is also featured at the Royal – everything from oil paintings, watercolors, woodworking, textiles, ceramics and sculpture were available for viewing.

33-The University of Guelph “EquiMania” area offered many fun and educational activities about horses for kids and their parents.

33-The University of Guelph “EquiMania” area offered many fun and educational activities about horses for kids and their parents.

34-A little girl tries her hand at milking a cow in “Ag-Tivity Central” in the middle of the Royal Marketplace.

34-A little girl tries her hand at milking a cow in “Ag-Tivity Central” in the middle of the Royal Marketplace.

35-A little girl exercises her artistic expression as she paints a small Breyer model in the kid’s activity area.

35-A little girl exercises her artistic expression as she paints a small Breyer model in the kid’s activity area.

36-Tossing a ball into the back of a Toyota truck was a way for kids to win fun prizes.

36-Tossing a ball into the back of a Toyota truck was a way for kids to win fun prizes.

37-“The Amazing Food Journey” educational exhibit offered kids and their parents a look underground at simulated growing root vegetables (carrots, beets, parsnips and turnips).

37-“The Amazing Food Journey” educational exhibit offered kids and their parents a look underground at simulated growing root vegetables (carrots, beets, parsnips and turnips).

 

Docutainment Films premiers the HARRY & SNOWMAN Movie Trailer

November 08, 2014 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

 

Wellington, FL – November 6, 2014 – Docutainment Films premiers the HARRY & SNOWMAN movie trailer, along with an opportunity to receive a collectors edition DVD of Harry & Snowman, autographed by Harry deLeyer and a chance to win an expense-paid trip for two to the U.S. premier in 2015.

The 85 minute film is near completion and has been submitted to major 2015 international film festivals, including Sundance, Berlin, Rotterdam and SXSW.
Ron Davis is an award winning documentary Director and Producer. His HBO Documentary Films’ MISS YOU CAN DO IT premiered in 2013 and PAGEANT, went on to garner 10 major film festival awards before premiering on The Sundance Channel in 2010. Davis’ Docutainment Films is based in Wellington, Florida.

Exciting Changes Announced for Washington International Horse Show

August 17, 2014 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

FEI CSI4*-W Rating and USEF Heritage Competition
WIHS Official Prize List Now Available Online

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, D.C. – July 22, 2014 – The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), the country’s premier metropolitan indoor horse show, announces exciting news in advance of its 56th annual event, which will be held October 21-26, 2014 at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The official WIHS Prize List for the 2014 competition is now available online at www.wihs.org.

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The 2014 WIHS Prize List is available at www.wihs.org!

The Washington International has received a CSI4*-W rating, one of the highest classifications for an international show jumping competition, by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body for horse sports. The rating reflects additional prize money for its highest-level show jumping classes, bringing the overall prize money for all divisions to more than half a million dollars.

Conor Swail of Ireland (ranked #33 in the world as of June 30) competed for the first time at WIHS in 2013. As a top international rider, he noted that the increase to a four-star show is important to riders who want to maintain their ranking. He noted, “The ranking points are always very important to us. We want to try and keep in the top 30 in the world. It’s always nice to have a bigger status on the FEI standings.”

WIHS joins an elite group of horse shows in the U.S. with a four-star rating and is one of only a handful of shows designated as a CSI4*-W, a World Cup Qualifier. Points earned in the WIHS $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix count toward eligibility for the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final, a highly prestigious and competitive championship held each April.

“WIHS is a unique show jumping competition,” said Kent Farrington, winner of last year’s $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix CSI3*-W with Blue Angel. “Being in the city provides incredible atmosphere; it’s great to jump in Verizon Center, and they have great crowds. The additional prize money and FEI World Cup ranking points we get at a four-star event is fantastic.”

Swail agreed, “The coolest thing is that it’s in the center of the city. It’s a beautiful stadium, and everything is so close by. There’s quite nice crowds. It’s quite unusual, unlike any other show I go to. It’s a nice ring to ride in, and the most enjoyable was the costume class.”

Also new this year, FEI horses will be stabled in a dedicated, outdoor tent with larger stalls. “We’re extremely pleased WIHS has made this change in stabling,” said Farrington, a board member of the North American Riders Group. “It makes a big difference knowing that our horses are in a safe, secure environment.”

At its June meeting, the U.S. Equestrian Federation Board of Directors named the Washington International a USEF Heritage Competition, a prestigious designation reserved for long-established shows widely recognized within the sport and with significant involvement in the local community. WIHS joins an impressive list of Heritage shows, including the Devon Horse Show, the Hampton Classic and the National Horse Show.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized as a USEF Heritage Competition. We’re extremely proud of our history and commitment to providing the finest in equestrian sport,” said Victoria Lowell, WIHS President. “We love hosting national and international riders in the nation’s capital and sharing our passion for horses with the local community.”

New for 2014, two cash bonuses will be awarded to riders accumulating the most points in the International Jumper Division. WIHS will present $15,000 to the overall leading international rider, thanks to presenting sponsor The Boeing Company, and a $10,000 bonus, sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch, to the overall leading rider 25 years of age or under.

Kent Farrington and Blue Angel won last year's $125,000 President's Cup Grand Prix.

Kent Farrington and Blue Angel won last year’s $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix.

“We have a great longstanding relationship with The Boeing Company,” said Bridget Love Meehan, WIHS Executive Director. “Boeing has helped us build WIHS Military Night on Friday into a powerful program blending exciting competition with recognition of our servicemen and women, and support for our official military charity, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). We’re very pleased Boeing will also sponsor the Leading International Rider bonus this year.”

Swail commented, “The bonus is very nice. If you have a great show, you’re also rewarded a little more than the rest of the riders because you’ve done the best, and your consistency is rewarded.”

The 2014 competition will also feature a new $5,000 leading hunter rider cash bonus, which will be awarded to the rider accumulating the most points in the professional hunter divisions. The Young Jumper Championship Incentive Bonus Program, which encourages investment in developing young horses, will return with up to $20,000 at play, thanks to SHF Enterprises.

This year’s members of the Jumper Ground Jury are Ralph Alfano, Wellington, FL, president; Neil O’Connor, Southampton, NY, member; and John Taylor, Mono, Ontario, Canada, foreign member. Hunter and equitation judges are Linda Hough, Wellington, FL; Jimmy Torano, Southwest Ranches, FL, Philip De Vita, Apopka, FL, and Mark Leone (equitation), Franklin Lakes, NJ. Course designers are Kenneth Krome, Westminster, MD (Hunter) and Anthony D’Ambrosio, Red Hook, NY, (Jumper).

The 56th annual Washington International Horse Show will be held October 21-26, 2014, at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. Find out more by downloading the 2014 WIHS Prize List at www.wihs.org. Entries close Tuesday, September 2, 2014.

About the Washington International Horse Show, www.wihs.org
An equestrian tradition since 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is the country’s premier metropolitan indoor horse show. Each October, more than 500 world-class horses and riders, including Olympic medalists, arrive in Washington for six days of exciting show jumping and hunter competition. Highlights include the $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix (a World Cup qualifier), the Puissance (high jump) and the WIHS Equitation Finals, an important goal for top American junior riders. Exciting equestrian exhibitions, boutique shopping and community activities, such as Kids’ Day and Breakfast with the Mounted Police, round out this family-friendly event. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and recognized as a Top 25 Horse Show by the North American Riders Group.

Since its debut, WIHS has been a Washington, D.C. institution attended by celebrities, business, military and diplomatic leaders, as well as countless horse enthusiasts of all ages. Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Equestrian Aid Foundation Supporters Cher The Love at Dinner Party in New Jersey

June 21, 2014 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

New York, NY. June 3, 2014 – Equestrian community members in the Northeast gathered on Saturday, May 31st for an Equestrian Aid Foundation fundraiser in Flemington, NJ. The event was held at Sand Hill Farm, the private residence of Scott Stewart and EAF board member Ken Berkley, who co-chaired the dinner party along with fellow board member Mimi Tashjian. The 200 guests in attendance enjoyed dinner, dancing, musical performances and a fireworks display.

EAF board member and event co-chair Mimi Tashjian, EAF board member Jenny Dunion, and event co-chair Scott Stewart

“Scott and I were happy to open our home and our hearts for this event,” said Berkley. “The Equestrian Aid Foundation is an organization we have been supporting for a long time, a unique nonprofit that provides help for those in our community who have fallen on hard times. Hopefully this fun evening will translate into help for many of those in our midst.”

Singer Jacqueline Berkley and her band from Nashville, TN, kicked off the evening with a musical performance as guests mingled and sipped cocktails. Then special guest Chad Michaels, one of the world’s premier Cher impersonators, wowed the crowd with a concert of the diva’s top hits.

Mark Drabich of the Metropolitan Seafood Company provided the catering, which was accompanied by cocktails from Tito’s Vodka. Wine and champagne for the evening was acquired from OneHope Wines, a philanthropic organization that donated $1 of each bottle purchased to charities that fight world hunger, fight cruelty to animals and support breast cancer research.

The evening raised money to support EAF programs that provide financial assistance to those in the equestrian community suffering from chronic illness and injury.

“The equestrian world is very close-knit, and it is imperative that we support one another, particularly those who are in need,” said co-chair Mimi Tashjian. “This event was a shining example of that support. As a result of the generosity of so many, we raised over $95,000, most of which will go directly to EAF recipients.”

Cher Impersonator Chad Michaels

About the Equestrian Aid Foundation: For over 17 years, the Equestrian Aid Foundation has delivered financial assistance to equestrians, horsemen and equine-related professionals who are suffering from catastrophic illnesses or injuries throughout their time of need. Funding for medical, rehabilitation and essential expenses – such as food and housing – enables recipients to cope through crisis and get back on their feet. The EAF is dedicated to helping people from all riding disciplines, equine professions, backgrounds and ages. The EAF is a 501 (c) 3 organization.  Learn more at www.equestrianaidfoundation.orgwww.facebook.com/EAF.Ride4Hope or @ride4hope.

British break records with world number one slots in all three Olympic disciplines

May 14, 2014 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

British riders have broken all-time records, occupying the world number one slots in all three Olympic equestrian disciplines. This is the first time that athletes from one nation have simultaneously topped the FEI World Rankings in Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing.

In the latest rankings published by the FEI, Scott Brash heads the Longines Rankings in Jumping, Charlotte Dujardin heads the FEI World Individual Dressage Rankings, and William Fox-Pitt tops the FEI World Eventing Athlete Rankings.

“To be the first country whose athletes have simultaneously been world number one in the three Olympic disciplines since the FEI Rankings began in 2002 is a truly outstanding achievement,” FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said.

“Congratulations to Scott Brash, Charlotte Dujardin, and William Fox-Pitt for their remarkable performances, and also to their trainers, owners, grooms, support crews, veterinarians, the British Equestrian Federation, and the British Olympic Association. And, of course, I would like to pay a very special tribute to the talented horses that are an integral part of the success story in British equestrian sport.”

Jumping

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Photo caption: Scott Brash (GBR), pictured here at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final 2014 riding Ursula XII, heads the Longines Rankings in Jumping. ©FEI/Arnd Bornkhorst

Scott Brash, the youngest member of Britain’s London 2012 Olympic Games gold medal team, jumped into the world number one spot in the Longines Rankings in December 2013 and has held the position ever since. With 3,266 points, the 28-year-old from Peebles in Scotland is ahead of fellow countryman Ben Maher (2,830 points), and Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum (2,799). Beerbaum and Brash claimed second and third places behind Daniel Deusser (GER) in last month’s Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Lyon (FRA).

Dressage

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Photo caption: Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) and Valegro, pictured at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final 2014, head the FEI World Individual Dressage Rankings. ©FEI/Arnd Bornkhorst

Charlotte Dujardin (28) and the 12-year old bay gelding Valegro became the first British partnership to head the FEI World Dressage Rankings in September 2012 following their double Olympic gold at the London Olympic Games. The combination reclaimed world number one status last September and have now been in pole position since the beginning of the year. Dujardin and Valegro, winners of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final in Lyon, are also the FEI Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special, and Grand Prix Freestyle record holders.

Dujardin and Valegro lead the FEI Dressage Rankings with 3,138 points ahead of Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW (2,917 points), and Edward Gal (NED) and Glock’s Undercover (2,702 points).

Eventing

William Fox Pitt World Eventing Number One
Photo caption: William Fox-Pitt (GBR), multiple Olympic, World and European Eventing medallist, pictured here at the London 2012 Olympic Games, is now leading the FEI World Eventing Rankings. © FEI/Jacques Toffi/Arnd Bronkhorst.

William Fox-Pitt, multiple Olympic, World and European medallist, and the first British rider to top the FEI World Eventing Rankings in 2002, took over as world number one at the beginning of the month. Triple Olympic team medallist Fox-Pitt (44), who this week bids for a Badminton victory to add to last month’s win in Kentucky, has a 16-point advantage over Andrew Nicholson (NZL), with Bruce O. Davidson Jr. (USA) third in the world rankings.

“This is another historic first for equestrian sport in Great Britain and is wonderful proof of the skill of our riders, the dedication of the owners and staff, as well as the support provided by the Lottery-funded World Class Programme,” British World Class Performance Manager Will Connell said.

“Of course ranking lists are a record of what has already happened, but now all of us are focused on the competitions ahead and especially on the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy.”

View the FEI Rankings in the three Olympic disciplines here:
Longines Rankings
FEI World Individual Dressage Ranking
FEI World Eventing Athlete Rankings

Photo caption (attached image): British riders have broken all-time records, occupying the world number one slots in all three Olympic equestrian disciplines. Pictured from left: Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, leaders of the FEI World Individual Dressage Rankings; Scott Brash, world number one on the Longines Rankings, aboard Ursula XII; and William Fox-Pitt, who tops the FEI World Eventing Athlete Rankings, pictured here at the London 2012 Olympic Games riding Lionheart. © FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst and Jacques Toffi.

FEI Photo Catalogue: Free images for editorial purposes are available for download at www.feiphotos.org.

Media contacts:
Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Press Relations
malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 33

William Fox-Pitt back as Eventing world number one

May 14, 2014 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

William Fox-Pitt (GBR), multiple Olympic, World and European medallist, and the first British rider to lead the FEI World Eventing Rankings in 2002, is back as world number one.

William Fox Pitt World Eventing Number One

Fox-Pitt, who also led the world rankings in 2009 and 2010, has a 16-point lead over Andrew Nicholson (NZL), who had led the world Eventing rankings since claiming team bronze at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Fox-Pitt (44) represented Great Britain throughout his teenage years, winning individual silver at the Junior European Championships in 1987, Young Rider team gold at the European Championships in 1988 and 1989, and completed Badminton at the age of 20. His first Burghley win five years later established him as a regular on the senior British team and guaranteed him a ticket to the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.

Olympian

He has gone on to represent Great Britain consistently over the past 15 years, winning team silver at the London 2012 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games, and team bronze at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

World and European medals

He also secured team gold and individual silver at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2010 in Kentucky (USA), team silver at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2006 in Aachen (GER) and team bronze at the 2002 edition of the Games in Jerez (ESP), as well as six European team gold medals, one team bronze, two individual silvers and individual bronze.

Records

He has won a total of 52 CCIs (international three-day events), including a record 13 CCI4*s, which are the world’s top six international events. He is the only rider to have won five of these top events, including Badminton (2004) and Burghley, which he has won six times in 1994, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2011 when he became the first rider to win a record six Burghley titles on six different horses. He has also won at Luhmühlen (2008), at Pau twice (2011 and 2013), and has just returned from Kentucky with his third victory (after winning in 2010 and 2012).

Next weekend, with his highly successful horses Cool Mountain, Parklane Hawk and Chilli Morning, he heads to the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (GBR), which is also the 4th leg of the FEI Classics™, a prestigious series uniting the world’s top six CCI4*s, which also he currently leads.

“It’s a fantastic feeling to be back as world number one,” said Fox-Pitt. “The world rankings are currently dominated by British riders, and it’ll be interesting to see if the British leaders of the world show jumping and dressage rankings, Scott Brash and Charlotte Dujardin, have retained their lead. This shows that our National Lottery funding and World Class Performance Programme is working, which is great news for all British athletes, and especially for equestrian athletes as we head into our world championships in Normandy his summer.”

Full FEI World Eventing Rankings here.

The world Eventing championships will take place at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy on 23 August-7 September: www.normandy2014.com.

Photo Caption: William Fox-Pitt (GBR), multiple Olympic, World and European Eventing medallist, pictured here at the London 2012 Olympic Games, is now leading the FEI World Eventing Rankings. (Jacques Toffi/Arnd Bronkhorst/FEI).

FEI Photo Catalogue: Free images for editorial purposes are available for download at www.feiphotos.org.

Notes to Editors

For information on the UK Sport World Class Performance Programme: www.uksport.gov.uk/pages/wc-performance-programme

Media contacts

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

FEI Classics™: Stage is set for a new-look Badminton

May 14, 2014 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

By Kate Green

The two leading riders in the FEI Classics™ 2013/2014 go head to head in the fourth leg of the series, the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (GBR), this weekend (8-11 May).

William Fox-Pitt, winner of Pau (FRA) last year and Kentucky (USA) last month, and Christopher Burton (AUS), who triumphed on a catch ride at his home CCI4*, Adelaide (AUS), in November 2013, both have exciting rides at Badminton.

Fox-Pitt, the new world Eventing number one, has a commanding 15-point lead in the FEI Classics™, a series he has won three times before, but there is plenty of time for others to catch up.

He has the choice of three rides at Badminton: Cool Mountain, his 2010 Kentucky winner and world team gold and individual silver medallist, Parklane Hawk, the 2011 Burghley winner, and the striking chestnut stallion Chilli Morning, on which Fox-Pitt won individual bronze at the 2013 FEI European Eventing Championships.

Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials 2013

Burton, interestingly, has been reunited with his Adelaide ride, TS Jamaimo, after a group of his owners and supporters clubbed together to buy the 15-year-old thoroughbred for him with this year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in mind.

Burton took on the ride just days before Adelaide when the horse’s former rider, Will Enzinger (AUS), broke his leg. “It’s been a fascinating experience and I feel so lucky,” said Burton, who earlier this spring finished fifth on TS Jamaimo in the CIC3* at Belton (GBR). “He’s a good-looking horse on the flat and a careful jumper. I can’t wait to take him to Badminton.”

Around 85 horses from 14 nations will appear before the Ground Jury at the first horse inspection tomorrow (May 7).

The field includes six former winners: Fox-Pitt (2004); New Zealander Sir Mark Todd (1980, 1994, 1996 and 2011), who rides NZB Campino and Leonidas II; Britain’s Mary King (1992 and 2000), who brings Imperial Cavalier; and Pippa Funnell (2002, 2003, 2005), who has the choice of Billy Beware, Or Noir de la Loge or Redesigned; plus two Australians: Lucinda Fredericks (2007), who rides Flying Finish, and Paul Tapner (2010) with Kilronan.

Andrew Nicholson (NZL) is celebrating 30 years of competing at Badminton. He first appeared here in 1984 when he rode a clear round on Kahlua and earned a place on the New Zealand squad at the Los Angeles Olympics, but this is one of the few events in the world where victory has eluded him. His best result was second in 2004 on Lord Killinghurst.

This could be Nicholson’s year, though. He rides two Spanish-bred geldings, Quimbo, winner of Kentucky last year, and the extraordinarily consistent chestnut Nereo, second at Burghley in 2013.

However, all riders, no matter what their level of Badminton experience, will be facing a new-look Cross Country course. Former six-time winner Lucinda Green has described the track created by FEI Eventing Committee Chairman Giuseppe Della Chiesa (ITA) as: “truly magnificent.”

Della Chiesa, only the third Course Designer at Badminton in some 50 years, has used new ground in the Duke of Beaufort’s parkland and has produced new fences, including a water complex. He has also recreated the famous Vicarage Vee fence.

The scene is set for a thrilling and fascinating weekend, and one rider is set to make history in Badminton’s 65th year.

See the full entry list for the fourth leg of the FEI Classics™ at the Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials here, and watch live coverage of the Cross Country and Jumping on the FEI’s official video platform FEI TV.

FEI Classics™ 2013/2014 Leaderboard (after 3 of 6 events)

1 William Fox-Pitt (GBR) 30 points
2 Christopher Burton (AUS) 15
3 Maxime Livio (FRA) 12
4 Lauren Kieffer (USA) 12
5 Sonja Johnson (AUS) 12
6 Phillip Dutton (USA) 11
7 Buck Davidson (USA) 10
8 Craig Barrett (AUS) 10
9 Sinead Halpin (USA) 8
10 Shane Rose (AUS) 8

See full standings here.

FEI Classics™ 2013/2014 calendar

1 Les Etoiles de Pau CCI 4* (FRA) – 23-27 October 2013
2 Australian International 3 Day Event (AUS) – 14-17 November 2013
3 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event (USA) – 23-27 April 2014
4 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (GBR) – 8-11 May 2014
5 Luhmühlen CCI 4* presented by DHL Paket (GER) – 12-15 June 2014
6 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR) – 4-7 September 2014

Photo Caption: William Fox-Pitt (GBR), pictured here with Oslo at the Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials 2013, heads to this year’s event as world Eventing number one and leader of the prestigious FEI Classics™ series. Photo: Kit Houghton/FEI.

FEI Photo Catalogue: Images for editorial purposes are available for free download at www.feiphotos.org.

Notes to Editors

Prize money

At the end of the FEI Classics™ 2013/2014 season, the five riders with the highest number of points collected across the six FEI Classics™ events will share a total prize fund of US$120,000 split as follows: 1st – US$40,000 (Series Champion); 2nd – US$35,000; 3rd – US$25,000; 4th – US$15,000; 5th – US$5,000.

Join the FEI on Facebook & Twitter

Our signature Twitter hashtags for this series are #Classics and #Eventing. We encourage you to use them, and if you have space: #FEI Classics™ #Eventing.

The Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials Twitter handle is @bhorsetrials and hashtag is #MMBHT

Media Contacts

At Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials
Julian Seaman
Press Officer
+44 7831 515736
j.seaman2@sky.com
@bhorsetrials #MMBHT

At FEI
Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

TICKETS GO ON SALE FOR OLYMPIA, THE LONDON INTERNATIONAL HORSE SHOW 2014

May 14, 2014 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Media Release 6 May 2014

London International horse Show-Olympia 2013

Tickets for Olympia, The London International Horse Show 2014 go on sale on Thursday 8 May at 9am. The week long equine extravaganza will take place in the iconic West London venue from Tuesday 16 to Monday 22 December 2014.

While the mention of Christmas in May might draw groans from folk still picking pine needles out of their carpets and finding cracker toys down the back of the sofa, among equestrian fans it means just one thing…tickets for Olympia must be going on sale!

Last year, London’s premier horse show saw a record breaking number of visitors when over 95,000 flocked through the doors to watch the elite competitions in Show Jumping, Dressage and Driving and unique entertainment that always makes Olympia so magical. With 2013 ticket sales up 6% on the previous year, organisers are urging those planning to attend Olympia in 2014 to book early to avoid disappointment.

Living up to its reputation as one of Europe’s premier indoor equestrian events, Olympia 2014 will once again host three FEI World Cups™ in Driving, Dressage and Show Jumping. The Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage leg takes place on 16 and 17 December, the FEI World Cup™ Driving leg on 19 and 20 December and the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping leg presented by H&M on 21 December.

In addition to the FEI World Cups™, Olympia will feature a mix of top class equestrian competition – including the famous Altech Christmas Puissance on the Thursday evening performance – international equestrian displays (to be announced), an outstanding shopping village, the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National, the Kennel Club Dog Agility and an amazing selection of bars and restaurants.

A special addition to this year’s line-up will be a competition ‘Jockeys v. Jumpers’ which pitches professional Jockeys against professional Show Jumpers in association with this year’s Show Charity, The injured Jockeys Fund.

And when spectators aren’t watching the horses, there’s plenty of celebrities and Royalty to be spotted. Last year HRH Duchess of Cornwall, Denise Lewis, England Rugby legends Ben Cohen and Phil Vickery, Deborah Meaden, Martin Clunes and Rory Bremner were among the record crowds attending the event.

Tickets start at £24.50 each with discounts for groups, children and concessions applying for certain performances. For more information and to purchase tickets online visit the website at www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

For more information please contact Jo Peck jopeck@hpower.co.uk, (0)1753 847900; or Hannah Grissell hannah@revolutionsports.co.uk, (0)207 592 1207.

For copyright free images please click here (credit Kit Houghton/Hpower)

Notes to Editors
Olympia, London International Horse Show takes place on 16-22 December 2014 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall, West Kensington London. The show will play host to packed timetable of all things equestrian and boasts over 95,000 visitors. It is one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious equine competitions. The show mixes top class equestrian action including FEI World Cup™ Jumping and Dressage with family entertainment, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National which raises money for Great Ormond Street Hospital as well as the Kennel Club Dog Agility. The show’s official charity for 2014 is The Injured Jockeys Fund.

USET Foundation Awards Pinnacle Cup to Lauren Kieffer

May 14, 2014 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Lexington, KY – April 30, 2014 – The USET Foundation is pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Pinnacle Cup Trophy at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI**** is Lauren Kieffer of Middleburg, VA. Kieffer rode Veronica to a second place finish at the prestigious event and was the highest placed American rider, which earned her the trophy.

Veronica is a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Team Rebecca, LLC. Although Kieffer only took over the reins from Olympians Karen O’Connor a year ago, the duo has already developed a strong partnership. They finished with 46.7 penalties in the dressage phase and continued to move up the rankings after completing a clear cross-country phase. The pressure was on when they returned for stadium jumping on the final day. The pair was perfect though, completing a double clear round to finish on their dressage score, taking home the second place honors overall behind William Fox-Pitt, and earning the Rolex/USEF National CCI4* Championship title.

“I am thrilled,” smiled Kieffer. “Veronica could not have gone any better. It’s what we work for everyday for years and years, and other riders have worked just as hard, if not harder. I am thrilled that it happened to be my day.”

Kieffer continued, “Veronica is a really talented mare. She’s a real fighter, and she’s very competitive in her own head. She always wants to go out there and play the game, which is really nice. I got the ride on her after Karen was injured at the beginning of last year, and so we spent that time getting to know each other and we’ve gotten along really well from the beginning. It really came together at Kentucky.”

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Lauren Kieffer was awarded the USET Foundation’s Pinnacle Cup Trophy as the highest placed American rider at the 2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI 4*.  Photo By: Shannon Brinkman.

 

Looking ahead, Kieffer is heading to the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event next, where she will be riding Jacqueline Mars’ RF Cosima and Shannon O’Roark’s Lucky Devil.

Kieffer also hopes to make the team for the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. “It would be really amazing, and it’s definitely a goal,” she explained. “There is a lot of depth to the U.S. Team right now. There are a lot of horses to chose from that did really well this past weekend and a lot of horse and rider pairs in Europe competing soon. It’s a goal, and I will be thrilled if I get a chance at it. Once Veronica has had a break we will come out and try to be as good as we were in Kentucky.”

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.

Previous Pinnacle Cup Trophy Winners:

2013: Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM
2012: Allison Springer and Arthur
2011: Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville
2010: Phillip Dutton and Woodburn
2009: Buck Davidson and My Boy Bobby
2008: Phillip Dutton and Connaught
2007: Phillip Dutton and Connaught
2006: Heidi White Carty and Northern Spy
2005: Kim Severson and Winsome Adante
2004: Kim Severson and Winsome Adante
2003: Bruce O. Davidson, Jr. and Mystic Mike
2002: Kim Vinoski (Severson) and Winsome Adante
2001: David O’Connor and Giltedge
2000: David O’Connor and Rattle N Hum
1999: Karen O’Connor and Prince Panache
1998: Dorothy Crowell and Molokai
Previous to this date, the top American finisher was awarded the Gladstone Challenge Trophy.