What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

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

Palm Beach Polo Wins USPA Spring Challenge Cup; Glenn Straub Named Most Valuable Player

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


Glenn Straub of Palm Beach Polo battles his way out of a crowd with defenders Neku Atawodi and Marc Ganzi of Ride To Shine in pursuit. Photo by Scott Fisher

WELLINGTON, FL-April 27, 2014—-Palm Beach Polo rallied for four goals in the final chukker to capture the USPA Spring Challenge Cup on a sun-drenched Sunday at Grand Champions Polo Club.

Trailing 8-7 going into the final chukker, Palm Beach Polo (Alejandro Gonzalez, Brandon Phillips, Tommy Biddle, Glenn Straub), battled back for a hardfought 11-10 victory over  Ride To Shine (Marc Ganzi, Neku Atawodi, Nic Roldan, Martin Estrada).

Straub was named Most Valuable Player after playing well on both ends of the field, scoring a clutch goal in the sixth chukker and blocking Roldan’s penalty shot in the second chukker.

Most Valuable Player Glenn Straub of Palm Beach Polo. Photo by Scott Fisher

“That was a very nice win,” Straub said. “They played three days in a row down at beach polo and came back and gave it their all.

“When Tommy is knocking it you just run as hard as you can run, as far as you can run and for some reason the ball is still in front of you,” Straub said. “He can hit the ball. Brandon did a nice job and that young boy Alejandro I will hire any time I can. He’s going to move up quickly.”

Gonzalez led Palm Beach Polo in scoring with five goals. Big-hitting Biddle had three and Phillips added two.

Alejandro Gonzalez of Palm Beach Polo avoids the hook from Marc Ganzi of Ride To Shine and drives downfield with the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

For Ride To Shine, Ganzi scored a season-high seven goals. Estrada had two and Roldan added one.

Ganzi’s horse Felony, a 7-year-old chestnut mare, was named Best Playing Pony.

Palm Beach Polo made it look easy jumping out to a 6-2 halftime advantage behind three goals by Gonzalez, two by Biddle and one by Phillips while taking advantage of missed scoring opportunities by Ride To Shine.

Tommy Biddle of Palm Beach Polo keeping his eye on the ball as he heads to goal. Photo by Scott Fisher

Ride To Shine regrouped early in the second half and looked like a different team reeling in Palm Beach Polo and scoring four unanswered goals to tie the game at 6-6.

The lead changed hands two more times before Palm Beach Polo mounted its sixth-chukker rally.

Biddle scored on a 90-yarder with 5:21 to tie the game at 8-8 followed by goals from Phillips and Gonzalez for a 10-8 advantage.

With 2:34 left in the game, Straub scored on a breakaway that turned out to be the winning goal after Ganzi and Estrada added two more goals for Ride To Shine as time ran out.

Most Valuable Player Glenn Straub of Palm Beach Polo takes a pass from Tommy Biddle as he heads downfield. Photo by Scott Fisher

“It was good fun today,” Ganzi said. “They jumped on a couple good horses in the sixth and our marking got a little loose. We felt like we had control of the game.

“Tommy and Brandon are really good. Alejandro played really great, he is going to three goals at the end of the year. The kid is really gifted with a good head on his shoulders and has a really bright future in polo.”

It was the first time Ganzi competed for Ride To Shine.

Alejandro Gonzalez of Palm Beach Polo stretches for the ball with Marc Ganzi of Ride To Shine defending. Photo by Scott Fisher

“Neku has been here for most of the season playing here at Grand Champions and is really enthusiastic,” Ganzi said. “This is a fun time of the year when some of the customers get to stay and we get a chance to play with them. I think she had a great time. We thought we had them, tough luck for her.

“This was really a good tournament,” Ganzi said. “This is a nice trophy to win.”

At 19, Gonzalez was the youngest player on the field. After finishing school in Mexico, Gonzalez said his focus is playing polo with and against good players.

Palm Beach Polo’s Alejandro Gonzalez balances the ball in the air with Martin Estrada of Ride To Shine defending. Photo by Scott Fisher

“Today was fun,” said Gonzalez, who first played with his teammates in Friday’s qualifier which Palm Beach Polo won, 11-10, over Power Horse on Biddle’s winning penalty shot.

“It’s an easy sport if everyone does their job,” Gonzalez said. “If everyone does what they say they are going to do then it works out for everyone and we all know what’s going on.”

Even when his team fell behind, Gonzalez said he was confident it was a momentary lapse.

Tommy Biddle of Palm Beach Polo double-teamed by Nic Roldan and Martin Estada of Ride To Shine. Photo by Scott Fisher

“When you start losing and then someone scores an important goal everyone just feels it and says ‘let’s go guys, let’s win, let’s win.’ You just have to let the game run and see what happens.

“We just started winning a lot of throw-ins. You start winning the throw-ins, you start scoring. We got lucky.”

Tommy Biddle of Palm Beach Polo outraces Martin Estrada of Ride To Shine for the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

Gonzalez said he is benefiting from playing with and against better players.

“I love how Tommy hits the ball, that’s how I like polo, hit and run,” Gonzalez said. “Glenn is amazing. He told me he came back from a late night in Miami Beach so we didn’t know what to expect but he was amazing and we won.”

Atawodi was one of two women in the tournament field. Atawodi, a native of Nigeria, is the first African woman international polo player. She owns a hotel in Nigeria and founded Ride To Shine, a charity that helps younger children particularly orphans, to pursue polo by giving them the opportunity to ride horses.

Martin Estrada of Ride To Shine gets loose from defender and heads for the ball. 
Photo by Scott Fisher

In the tournament’s consolation round robin, Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, LucasLalor, Guille Aguero) won the consolation title with wins over Pony Express (Benji Daniels, Justin Daniels, Pancho Eddy, Tomas Goti), 8-4 and Power Horse (Melissa Ganzi, Walter Scherb, Jeff Hall, Juan Bollini, 6.5-5.

The five-team tournament was the second of six medium-goal tournaments. Psycho Bunny won the opening tournament.

The remainder of the Grand Champions spring schedule is: May 2-4, USPA Sun Cup, May 8-11, The USPA Eastern Challenge; May 15-18 The Polo Gear Challenge Cup and May 22-26 The Memorial.

Nic Roldan of Ride To Shine on a breakaway balances the ball in the air. 
Photo by Scott Fisher

During the Grand Champions’ 2014 spring season, which is live-streamed around the world by PoloNow Network, amateur polo players play with and against some of the world’s top pros. State-of-the-art instant replay and team challenges are also used in the games.

Admission is free to spectators.

For game recaps, news, features and photos of Grand Champions Polo Club-related events, go towww.grandchampionspoloclub.org.

USPA Spring Challenge Cup awards presenter Erica Gonzalez with three members of the winning Palm Beach Polo team, Glenn Straub, Brandon Phillips and Alejandro Gonzalez. Tommy Biddle not pictured. Photo by Scott Fisher


MAY 2-4: The USPA Sun Cup

MAY 8-11: The USPA Eastern Challenge

MAY 15-18: The Polo Gear Challenge Cup

MAY 22-26: The Memorial

Grand Champions Polo Club trophy table with the prestigious USPA Spring Challenge Cup. Photo by Scott Fisher


WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.

INFORMATION: There are great field side views for tournament action at the home base of pro teams Audi and Flight Options. Everyone is welcome to watch high, medium and low goal polo in a relaxed atmosphere during the winter, spring and fall tournament season and other special events including International Cup in November, Buzz Welker Memorial Junior Tournament in March, ProKidz Tournaments in the spring and fall, Women’s Championship Tournament and Gay Polo League International Tournament, both in April.

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


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.

The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage Established by Margaret H. Duprey and The Barnfield Foundation

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

Gladstone, NJ – April 16, 2014 – The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is pleased to announce an exciting new fundraising initiative, The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage, made possible through the generosity of Margaret H. Duprey and The Barnfield Foundation. The goal of the initiative is to raise $800,000 for High Performance Para Dressage. Mrs. Duprey and the Barnfield Foundation have each pledged up to $200,000. They will each match, dollar for dollar, every gift commitment of $4,000 and above made by April 1, 2015.


The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage

offers an incredible opportunity for those who share a passion and interest in increasing support for these most inspiring and deserving athletes, and their quest to represent this country in international competition including the World Equestrian Games and Paralympics.

“Our family is so excited and honored that Jonathan is being recognized in this way. His dream was to not only be a world class equestrian, but to also help develop a world class United States Para Dressage Team. This as you know, not only takes dedication, sacrifice, training and skill of the athletes, but also the funds to compete nationally & internationally. My hope is that The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge will raise awareness and the funds needed to carry on his dream of developing a world class team!,” said Tina Wentz (Jonathan’s mother).


Jonathan Wentz and NTEC Richter Scale at the 2012 London Paralympics.  Photo (C) Lindsay Yosay McCall

Jonathan Wentz and NTEC Richter Scale at the 2012 London Paralympics.
Photo (C) Lindsay Yosay McCall

In addition to shipping horses to Europe and making sure that the correct support staff is in place, such as veterinarians and farriers, additional support staff is also needed for the riders as well so that they can function at the highest level both physically and emotionally when they are competing.The financial need for Para Dressage athletes at the High Performance international level can be quite significant. Unlike in most countries, the United States Equestrian Teams do not receive any government subsidies. The main source of funds for our athletes to participate in international competition comes through the USET Foundation from individuals and foundations whose interest and commitment to equestrian sport motivates them to make generous charitable contributions.

While traveling, especially overseas, wheelchair accessibility can be limited, and an individual benefits from having a personal care assistant to help the athlete not only move through low accessibility areas but they can also monitor the rider’s physical well-being. Other supplementary support staff may include a person who is physically capable of helping a rider to mount their horse before competition and a physical therapist to work the rider’s muscles. Many athletes who are paralyzed or have muscle spasticity can have muscle spasms, muscle soreness, and physical issues that may need a licensed physical therapist to monitor and address.

The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage will require extraordinary commitment and the support of those in the equestrian community who love the sport and desire to see our athletes, both equine and human, compete and win at the highest levels of international competition.

“This amazing opportunity to establish new levels of support and success for the United States High Performance Dressage program is thanks to Margaret H. Duprey and The Barnfield Foundation, both long time loyal supporters of equestrian sport. I thank them for their true leadership and applaud their commitment in making The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage possible,” said Bonnie B. Jenkins, USET Foundation Executive Director.

For more information on the USET Foundation and The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage, please call Bonnie B. Jenkins, Executive Director or Sara Ike, Major Gifts Officer at (908) 234-1251.

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.


About the United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation members, and equestrian enthusiasts.  The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages Para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the Para-Equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport.  This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage Para-Equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the Para-Equestrian discipline.  From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved.  From local horse shows to international Paralympic Games, the USPEA provides Para-Equestrians the knowledge and resources needed to succeed.  The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), USA Reining, and USEF which provide Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation(USEF). 

For more information about the USPEA please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President: Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

To view an online version of this press release please visit: http://uspea.org/category/recent-uspea-press-news/

Emerging Athletes Program Deadline Alert

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

April 4, 2014


Lexington, KY – The application deadline for three June 2014 Emerging Athletes Program Regional Training Sessions is midnight of Monday, April 21.


The intensive 4 1/2 day training sessions will be taught by some of the sport’s most respected clinicians and stable managers. Riders, competition age 20 and under, interested in participating in the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program, presented by Dover Saddlery, must submit the EAP Application and required documents to USHJA no later than the respective deadline. Applicants are also required to pass the USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Level One Quiz, with a score of 80% or higher, to be considered for participation in a Regional Training Session.


June Regional Training Sessions:


June 4-8 EAP Regional Training Session – Canby, OR

Oz Inc.

Clinician: Cynthia Hankins
Stable Manager: Nanci Snyder


June 8-12 EAP Regional Training Session – Conyers, GA

Georgia International Horse Park

Clinician: Anne Kursinski
Stable Manager: Anne Thornbury


June 16-20 EAP Regional Training Session – Hackettstown, NJ

Centenary College

Clinician: Julie Winkel
Stable Manager: Colleen Reed


April 21 is the deadline for any of these three June Regional Training Sessions!Don’t miss out –Log into your USHJA account and click “EAP Regional Clinic Application” under the Emerging Athletes Program section.


Please check the EAP Calendar for the Regional Training Session in your area.


Additional questions or request for information may be directed to Meghan Carney at (859) 225-6721.

United States Hunter Jumper Association 

3870 Cigar Lane

Lexington, KY 40511

P: 859.225.6700

F: 859.258.9033