What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

Rolex 2015 a Success for New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program

May 01, 2015 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship gave a demonstration during the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program even at the 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. (Photo credit: Jan Westmark)

Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship gave a demonstration during the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program event at the 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.
(Photo credit: Jan Westmark)

April 30 Lexington, KY – New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program once again had a successful Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event experience, with a constantly busy booth in the trade fair, a large Thoroughbred-centric event at the conclusion of the dressage on Friday, and an open house on Sunday morning before the showjumping began.

The New Vocations’ booth at Rolex sold over 550 T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts and cadet jackets throughout the weekend, encouraging OTTB aficionados show their love of the breed. The rain ponchos were also a hot commodity as the weather on Saturday left a lot to be desired.

A New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program sweatshirt. (Photo credit: Jan Westmark)

A New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program sweatshirt.
(Photo credit: Jan Westmark)

For the fourth consecutive year, the organization partnered with the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) on Friday evening to host Thoroughbreds For All, an event that celebrates the athletic ability of Thoroughbreds in second careers. AmWest Entertainment, Wild Aire Farm and Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred After-care were co-sponsors of the event.

Beginning with a delicious Southern-style dinner, the event opened with six horses being brought into the arena in-hand for a conformation and pedigree analysis by Dr. Stuart Brown of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Steuart Pittman, president of the RRP, and Nuno Santos, former jockey and owner of Santos Sport Horses.

Next up was a powerhouse clinician lineup including Laine Ashker, a regular competitor at Rolex Kentucky CCI**** and rider of the magnificent off-track Thoroughbred Anthony Patch; international dressage high-performance rider, trainer, coach and clinician Reese Koffler-Stanfield; and world-class colt trainer and winner of both the 2014 Kentucky Reining Cup and the 2014 All-American Quarter Horse Congress Freestyle Reining Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship.

Reese gave clinic-style demonstrations  to New Vocations graduates Monopolize, a 2015 Thoroughbred Makeover entrant ridden by Julie Hall, and Dundee, ridden by Dr. Jill Stowe. Both horses are at different stages in their dressage careers, so the crowd was able to learn how Reese brings them along, as well as how she adjusts her training techniques between Warmbloods and Thoroughbreds.

The next guests, Laine Ashker, and mom Valerie Ashker, gave a fantastic flat work and gymnastic clinic to two other Makeover contestants, Emily Daignault-Salvaggio on Gin Joint and Jordan Pruiksma on Fullback.

To round out the evening, Dan James gave a fantastic liberty demonstration with his own horses, then explained to the crowd how he begins desensitizing the horses to both crowd noises and the whip. New Vocations’ adoptable horse One Brave Warrior was the demo horse, and soon was not even blinking when the whip was swung around his head or cracked!In between demonstrations, the Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program recognized Rolex riders on OTTBs, including Laine Ashker (Anthony Patch), Dana Widstrand (Relentless Pursuit) and Katie Ruppel (Houdini).New Vocations finished off the weekend with an open house that showcased some of their adoptable Thoroughbreds; guests were also able to speak with staff members and ask questions of the trainers. This event was hosted in conjunction with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (ASPCA) national Help A Horse Day, where New Vocations will compete for a chance to win up to $10,000 in grant prizes to assist with their efforts in rehabilitating, retraining and rehoming ex-racehorses.

New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program

Founded in 1992, New Vocations has become the largest racehorse adoption program in the country and has facilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Kentucky. The program’s mission is to rehab, retrain and rehome retired racehorses. In 2014, the program took in over 450 retired racehorses. Working directly with owners and trainers who need aftercare for horses leaving the track, the program currently receives horses from more than 30 racetracks. New Vocations has a sound adoption system that is proven to move a large number of horses in a relatively short period of time. The program focuses on adoption rather than retirement, believing that each horse deserves to have an individual home and purpose. www.newvocations.org

A Big Event: GumBits Teams Up with Lauren Kieffer

January 30, 2015 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

GumBits, from Gambit Atlanta, Inc., is excited to sponsor Eventer Lauren Kieffer (Photo credit: Jenni Autry/Eventing Nation)

GumBits, from Gambit Atlanta, Inc., is excited to sponsor Eventer Lauren Kieffer (Photo credit: Jenni Autry/Eventing Nation)

Wellington, FL (January 29, 2015) — The maker of GumBits (Gambit Atlanta, Inc.) is thrilled to announce the newest addition to its talented team of sponsored riders — 2014 USEA Lady Rider of the Year, Eventer Lauren Kieffer. As the first-ever $50,000 Wellington Eventing Showcase approaches, GumBits plans to help Kieffer and her mount Czechmate achieve an exceptional ride.

Joining a list of talented equestrians like Steffen Peters and David Marcus, Kieffer is pleased to be sponsored by Gambit Atlanta. The revolutionary GumBits produced by the company are small, round treats that trigger salivation and eliminate teeth grinding. Horses love them — and Kieffer does, too.

“GumBits is excited and committed to sponsoring top up and coming eventers like Lauren Kieffer,” says Shereen Fuqua, founder of Gambit Atlanta, Inc.

Kieffer first learned of GumBits when she won a package of them during the Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three Star event last fall. She gave the product a try and quickly found GumBits to be a great tool — especially for event horses who tend to become tense during the dressage portion of competition.

“I have found GumBits to be a simple, kind, and non-invasive solution to horses that get tense or grind their teeth,” Kieffer said. “It’s really a no-brainer. The horses love them and it solves the problem. I highly recommend them to everyone.”

Kieffer’s dressage coach Canadian Dressage Olympian Jacqueline Brooks is also an advocate of GumBits and highly recommends their use. “I love GumBits!” she adds.

During the upcoming weekend’s $50,000 Wellington Eventing Showcase, Kieffer plans to utilize GumBits with her mount, Czechmate. The $50,000 Wellington Eventing Showcase is a brand new exhibition event that will be held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, which also plays host to the Winter Equestrian Festival and Adequan Global Dressage Festival, which GumBits also sponsors. Invited competitors include Kieffer and other top riders like Buck Davidson, Phillip Dutton, and Boyd Martin. The equestrians will ride a USEF/USEA Advanced Test ‘B,’ a show jumping course designed by Richard Jeffrey of Great Britain, and a cross country course designed by Captain Mark Phillips for the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s first-ever cross country event. GumBits is thrilled to be a part of the event through their sponsorship of Kieffer.

Shereen Fuqua of Atlanta, Georgia, founded Gambit Atlanta, Inc., in 2005. Through long-term relationships with prominent FEI Judges and international competitors, the innovative company has become a fast success. The product is sold at retailers in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand and is quickly growing its reach to riders from all disciplines — ranging from dressage to eventing and even driving.

For more information on Lauren Kieffer please visit www.laurenkieffer.com. To learn more about GumBits and to find a list of retailers in your area, visit www.gumbits.com.

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


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.”


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).


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).


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
+41 78 750 61 45

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Press Relations
+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.


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.


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
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+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
@bhorsetrials #MMBHT

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
+41 787 506 142

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 45

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.


May 02, 2014 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Applications due Monday, May 5

April 15, 2014 — Lexington, KY — There is still time to submit proposals for USA Equestrian Trust’s 2014 grants program. IRS-registered equine non-profit organizations are invited to apply by filling out the online grant application at http://www.trusthorses.org. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, May 5.


In 2013, the Trust awarded nearly $265,000 to help fund more than a dozen projects. The Trust’s financial support has been dedicated largely but not exclusively for initiatives that are productive across several national-level discipline and/or breed boundaries. The Trust welcomes applications for need-based projects and encourages applicants to detail those in their applications. Among the past recipients of Trust funding are:

THE UNITED STATES PONY CLUBS: $9,855 was awarded in 2012 to help create a traveling display that serves as an interactive, educational experience for children.


“The United States Pony Clubs develops character, leadership, confidence and a sense of community in youth through a program that teaches the care of horses and ponies,” said Shelley Mann, director of marketing and communications. “Through the grant received from USA Equestrian Trust, The United States Pony Clubs is now able to reach out at a grassroots level to bring the magic of horses to youth through interactive fun and a hands-on approach that will hopefully lead participants to a future with horses.”

AMERICAN YOUTH HORSE COUNCIL: $5,000 was awarded in 2013 to support the group’s annual symposium that educates youth on all facets of the equine industry.


“We appreciate the significant support we received from USA Equestrian Trust,” said Executive Director Danette McGuire. “These are the kinds of investments that allow the American Youth Horse Council to help kids connect through horses by providing a cost-effective educational symposium for youth and youth leaders who represent all aspects of the equine industry.”

KENTUCKY HORSE PARK FOUNDATION: $25,000 was awarded in 2013 to assist in the creation of dedicated horse paths at the Kentucky Horse Park to enhance safety for horses and riders.

“The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation was able to meet our fundraising goal for constructing the All the Gold Dedicated Horse Path due in large part to the generous support of USA Equestrian Trust,” said Executive Director Laura Klumb. “We are delighted that the Trust’s commitment to equestrian sport dovetails with the Kentucky Horse Park’s commitment to ensuring the safety of horse and rider. The All the Gold Dedicated Horse Path allows the Kentucky Horse Park to ensure the safest environment possible for the thousands of horses and riders that compete here on an annual basis. We are very grateful.”

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All Trust grant applicants must submit a proposed budget for their projects along with copies of their IRS determination letters and most recent IRS Form 990. If you have any questions about applying, please e-mail grants@trusthorses.org.

Funding available for grants includes $46,500 reserved for Hunter and Jumper non-profit programs and activities in California and Nevada. Applicants for this fund should make clear their intention to apply for grants available from this specific reserve.

About USA Equestrian Trust:

USA Equestrian Trust is a New York Not-for-Profit Corporation whose mission is to assist in preserving and/or enhancing the quality of equestrian sport in the United States of America. Its objects and purposes are exclusively charitable, educational and dedicated to the fostering of equestrian sports. The Trust is a private foundation pursuant to the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

PHOTO CAPTIONS: PHOTO #1 (The United States Pony Clubs): The traveling display presented by The United States Pony Clubs offers numerous educational stations made of authentic equine components such as bones from a real horse and actual grooming and tack items. Photo courtesy The United States Pony Clubs. PHOTO #2 (American Youth Horse Council): Attendees of the American Youth Horse Council’s annual symposium in 2014 visited horse farms including Ames Percheron Farm in Jordan, Minn. Photo courtesy American Youth Horse Council. PHOTO #3 (Kentucky Horse Park Foundation): Work continues on the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation’s All the Gold Dedicated Horse Path, much of which is expected to be completed by May 2014. Photo courtesy Kentucky Horse Park Foundation.

Horse Stars Hall of Fame Celebrates 2014 Inductees

April 04, 2014 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

WESTPORT, CT – March 21, 2014 – Six Equine Athletes and four Equine Humanitarians were inducted into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame for 2014 at the EQUUS Foundation’s Fete Cheval Etoile on Sunday, March 17, 2014 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida.

For the EQUUS Foundation, it’s all about how horses move people beyond their boundaries. The ten joined the inaugural 62 horses inducted in 2013.

The EQUUS Foundation partnered with the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) in 2013 to establish the Horse Stars Hall of Fame to celebrate the extraordinary talent of horses and the magical bond between horses and people.

The Hall of Fame honors the contributions of amazing horses, shares the stories of their athletic and humanitarian feats and helps build a more informed and compassionate America that values the impact of horses in our lives.

2014 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductees


The Six Equine Athletes, each representing different breeds and disciplines and all recognized by the USEF as Horses of Honor, included A Ruf Gal, Bizkit, Brunello, CH Callaway’s Annabel Allison, Sam and Simon. (Left Top to Bottom)

A Ruf Gal, the 2013 USA Reining Horse of the Year, owned by Pete & Tamra Kyle, has truly proven herself as a talented athlete, delivering consistent performances, achieving impressive results, and always willing to give her all throughout her competitive career.

Bizkit, a Baroque Pinto shown in Part-Bred Friesian competition, owned by Gwendolyn Schmidt, holds s a total of nine World Grand Championships and 27 Regional Grand Championships and has a legacy extending beyond the show ring as a successful sire with five foals on the ground and three already winning top honors in in-hand competition.

Janet Peterson and Liza Boyd’s Brunello has been turning heads in the hunter ring with his signature style and consistent top placings for years, but in 2013, his achievements placed him at the pinnacle of the sport. He ended the year earning the top USEF honor of National Horse of the Year.

CH Callaway’s Annabel Allison entered the record books in 2013 as the first mare to win the Five-Gaited World’s Grand Championship title at the Kentucky State Fair since 1999, and Debbie Foley became the first professional woman to be trainer, rider, and sole owner of the winning horse.

Prior to the 2013 season, Sam had always been a stalwart for owner and driver Misdee Wrigley, but in 2013 he stepped up his game when he was needed most. Against all odds, Sam delivered the performance of a lifetime at the FEI World Driving Championships.

In 2013, Abigail Wexner’s Simon and his rider, Beezie Madden secured their place in the history books with an epic win on the world’s largest stage, claiming Madden’s first Rolex/FEI World Cup Finals title. For his efforts, Simon earned the title of USEF International Horse of the Year and Madden claimed USEF Equestrian of the Year.

* * * * *

The four Equine Humanitarians included the ever so brave public servants Skipper and Staff Sergeant Reckless and gentle giants Lucky To Be A Larkin and Mr Wise Guy +//.(Below Clockwise)

On September 22, 1987, police horse Skipper and the energetic 31-year-old officer, husband and father of four very young children, William D. McCarthy, were tragically killed while on patrol serving the Philadelphia community as a member of its Mounted Police Unit. The William D. McCarthy Memorial Trophy and now the induction of Skipper into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame will forever remind us of the service of the mounted police and the inherent danger present in police work.

Small in size, but huge in heart and spirit, Staff Sergeant Reckless was a “Jeju” was pony who became the real-lief warhorse of the U.S. Marine Fifth Regiment during the Korean War. Simply put, she was one of them. They were bound together, an amazing unit that accomplished more than either she or her fellow Marines could have done alone.

Mr Wise Guy +//, owned by Kristen Cuneo, had a stellar 15-year show career in the Arabian Horse World despite a severe injury as a young horse that resulted in a broken jaw and paralysis in the lower quadrant of his face. His injury caused his tongue to frequently hang out of his mouth – but at the end of his world class show career, at the age of 20, he transitioned into the life of a therapy horse.

Lucky to Be a Larkin was born the son of 1999 AQHA Super Horse Look Who’s Larkin and Grandson of AQHA Super Horse Rugged Lark – with all the potential for an outstanding sport career. His story is the story of a different destiny – a sensitive and kind horse and the bond he formed with Sherri Barnes and her daughter Kasey, born in 1993 with Downs Syndrome.

* * * * *

Since the beginning of civilization, horses have been vital to human survival. Although their role has changed, they continue to win our hearts and imagination. Thanks to the generosity of individual and corporate donors, the EQUUS Foundation is able to save some of these beautiful creatures that have been abused and abandoned.

The Foundation also helps retrain horses for multiple careers – as therapy animals, forever changing the lives of children and adults in need. The impact of horses can be as simple as building confidence to as astounding as first words – and first steps. The EQUUS Foundation will top $2.5 million in grant awards this year and now provides support to over 800 equine organizations across the United States.


Visit the Horse Stars Hall of Fame HERE to learn more about all the inductees.

Click here to learn more about the Fete Cheval Etoile.



About EQUUS Foundation

The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, also known as Horse Charities of America, is dedicated to improving the quality of life of horses, enabling the therapeutic use of horses for those in need, fostering the horse-human bond, and educating the public about the horse’s unique ability to empower, teach and heal. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail:equus@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.


About United States Equestrian Federation

Established in 1917, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), www.usef.org, is dedicated to uniting the equestrian community, honoring achievement, and serving as guardians of equestrian sport. The USEF promotes the safety and welfare of horses and riders while encouraging interest, participation and excellence at every competitive level and for all breed and discipline affiliates within the Federation family equally. The USEF is the only national organization dedicated to the promotion of the equestrian sport, fair competition and equine welfare regardless of breed or discipline.