What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

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

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.

Upcoming Horse Show for Triangle Farms

January 31, 2014 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Triangle Farms is proud to host the Raleigh Indoors Winter II, USEF ‘A’ Rated Hunter Horse Show, at the beautiful Senator Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center in Williamston, NC from February 13 – 16, 2014.  The show will feature top-rated hunters, Hunter Classics, the $1,000 USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Stake, and $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby.  The Williamston facility offers an indoor arena, covered arena, three outdoor schooling rings, and beautiful barns with hot/cold water wash bays.  For the prize list and lodging information go to www.trianglefarms.com.  For information on the facility go to www.ncagr.gov/markets/facilities/agcenters/eastern/.

Raleigh Indoors Ribbons

Announcing the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor Kai Handt

January 26, 2014 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Wellington, FL- January 23, 2014- As the 2014 Para-Dressage season kicks into gear, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has announced Kai Handt as the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor. Handt’s new appointment will run through 2016 making him the United States Para-Dressage Team Chef d’Equipe/ Technical Advisor for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France and the 2016 Paralympics. This new role is very familiar to Handt who has been a rider, trainer, and coach for nearly 40 years. Since relocating to the United States in 1985, Handt has built a large training program at his own North Texas Equestrian Center in Wylie, Texas. Handt not only trains multiple young riders in dressage but he also has earned his USDF bronze, silver, and gold medals as well as his silver and gold freestyle bars. Over the past six years, Handt has worked within the Para-Dressage world where he trained and sponsored the late Paralympian Jonathan Wentz. Handt helped Wentz ride to his full potential and reach his goals which included representing the U.S. Para-Dressage Team at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, winning the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship in 2011, and becoming the highest individual ranking U.S. rider that competed in London at the Paralympics. Handt will work closely with all current and potential para-dressage athletes preparing each rider and their horses for international competition. Kai Handt is an advocate for the para-dressage discipline and enjoys encouraging other sponsors, riders, and trainers to get involved with the sport. The ultimate goal of each high-performance discipline is to win medals. Kai Handt is excited for his future with the para-dressage program and looks forward to a medal winning 2014.


Kai Handt commented, “I am excited and honored by the decision of my peers to appoint me the Para-Equestrian Dressage Technical Advisor and Chef d’Equipe. I look forward to this exciting leadership position and will strive to make sure that our outstanding horses and riders will be a successful team on the national and international show circuit. With the help of our exceptional staff at the helm and a growing number of excellent supporters for our sport, I look forward to a fantastic future for all of our athletes.”

Kai Handt with his horse NTEC Richter Scale (ridden by Jonathan Wentz) preparing for the trot up at the 2012 London Paralympics. Photo (C) Lindsay Yosay McCall

Kai Handt with his horse NTEC Richter Scale (ridden by Jonathan Wentz) preparing for the trot up at the 2012 London Paralympics. Photo (C) Lindsay Yosay McCall

For more information about the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor position please visit: https://www.usef.org/_IFrames/breedsdisciplines/discipline/allparaequestrian/hpparaEquestrian.aspx



Note from USEF:


The United States Federation (USEF) has named Kai Handt as the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor. The Search Committee, chaired by Eric Straus, USEF Para-Equestrian Eligible Athlete Committee, and USEF Para-Equestrian High Performance Committee recommended Handt for this position.


On Saturday, January 25 at 7:00 am the USEF will host a breakfast forum for all potential Para-Equestrian 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games applicants and their trainers to meet with Handt for a meet-and-greet session and to begin the strategic planning for 2014. The forum will take place at the Asador Patagonia restaurant, 675 Royal Palm Beach Boulevard, Royal Palm Beach, Fla.


This opportunity to meet with Handt follows the USET Foundation’s “Soirée du Cheval” on Friday, January 24, 2014, where 21 individuals from para-equestrian sport will represent the discipline at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games fundraiser.


Reservations for the forum to meet Handt are required through Laureen Johnson, USEF High Performance Director of Para-Equestrian and Vaulting, 908-326-1155, or via email at lkjohnson@usef.org.

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/

USEF Announces Bartz, Keenan, Bibbler, Langer, and Leone to Receive Year’s Highest Equestrian Honors at the 2014 Pegasus Awards

December 08, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the names of five equestrians who have been selected to receive the year’s most coveted honors. Awarded by the USEF, the Lifetime Achievement Award, Junior Equestrian of the Year, and the Pegasus Medals of Honor will be presented during the Pegasus Awards gala on Friday, January 10, at The Hyatt Regency Lexington in Lexington, Ky. The winner of the Equestrian of the Year Award will be announced at the Pegasus Awards. More information is available here:




Lifetime Achievement Award – Keith Bartz

Keith Bartz (USEF Archive)

Keith Bartz (USEF Archive)

Keith Bartz of Naples, Fla., has been a leading figure in the American Saddlebred industry for many years. Bartz’s influence spans the entire scope of the sport, as he has served as a competitor, trainer, administrator, and leader. For his undying support and incredible legacy, Bartz has been awarded the 2013 USEF Lifetime Achievement Award and will receive the Jimmy A. Williams Lifetime Achievement Trophy at the Pegasus Awards gala.


Bartz has spent his entire life devoted to the promotion of the American Saddlebred. For 27 years he and his wife, Carol, owned and operated Hollow Haven Farm, where they helped many amateurs and juvenile riders reach success in the show ring. Bartz also served as an active American Saddlebred Horse Association judge for 11 divisions until his retirement in 1998. He has shown his dedication to the American Saddlebred by serving as the Director of the American Saddlebred Museum for more than a decade as well as serving on the Board of Trustees. For his outstanding sportsmanship, Bartz was the recipient of the USEF’s Walter B. Devereux Sportsmanship Award in 2003.


Bartz’s influence on the American Saddlebred sport and the entire equestrian industry expands beyond the show ring, as he has dedicated significant time and effort to governance, including serving many yearson the Board of Directors, Budget & Finance Committee, and Admin & Finance Working Group and as an Officer of the Federation.He also served many years as chairman of the USEF Licensed Officials Committee. Bartz is a past President of the United Professional Horsemen’s Association and currently serves on the American Saddlebred, Ethics, Compensation & Human Resources, and Nominating Committees for the USEF.


Junior Equestrian of the Year – Lillie Keenan

Lillie Keenan (©alcookphoto.com)

Lillie Keenan (©alcookphoto.com)

At just 17 years old, Lillie Keenan is already epitomizing the dedication, skill, poise, and Keenan sportsmanship that are required to reach the top of equestrian sport. A junior at the Spence School in New York, N.Y., Keenan actively participates in hunter, jumper, and equitation classes. For her talent, integrity, and contributions to the equestrian world, Keenan will be awarded the Ruth O’Keefe Meredith Memorial Trophy as the 2013 Junior Equestrian of the Year.


With her unprecedented success over the last 12 months, Keenan now stands among the most decorated junior riders in history. In the hunter ranks, she was named the Grand Junior Hunter Champion at the Devon Horse Show, in addition to earning Reserve Champion honors at the US Junior Hunter National Championships – East. Keenan also made a huge splash in the jumping ranks, winning many of the most coveted titles offered annually in the United States. In July, she earned Team and Individual Gold medals at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North before capturing Team Silver and Individual Gold at the Randolph College/USEF Junior Jumper Championships. She also earned her first Grand Prix victory in June by topping the $125,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix presented by Zoetis. Keenan showcased her exemplary riding style throughout the year by claiming the Shalanno Style of Riding Award at the Devon Horse Show and the William C. Steinkraus Style of Riding Award at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. She closed out her 2013 campaign by topping the fields in the Pessoa/US Hunter Seat Medal Finals presented by Randolph College and the ASPCA Alfred B. Maclay National Finals, adding two of the most prestigious equitation titles to her resume.


In addition to excelling on the field of play, she also shines in the classroom, maintaining an A average while taking a full course load which includes Calculus, Biology, Spanish V, English, and Art History. Keenan, who’s most meaningful victory to date came in the 2011 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals, also gives back to the sport she loves as a member of the USHJA Equitation Task Force and by helping other riders who also train out of Heritage Farm.


Pegasus Medals of Honor -Linda Bibbler, Larry Langer, and Armand Leone

The Pegasus Medal of Honor was created as an annual award to recognize individuals who have exhibited outstanding service to horses and equestrian sport. These dedicated individuals have engaged the community in their passion for horses through their work in the industry. This year’s winners, Linda Bibbler, Larry Langer, and Armand Leone have all dedicated years of service to equestrian sport.


Bibbler of Woodside, Calif., has been an active member of the vaulting community at all levels for nearly 30 years. She began her involvement with horses at the age of 12 and showed hunters throughout high school. After graduating from Harvard University, Bibbler continued to show actively on the West Coast. When her daughter became involved in vaulting, she began her unending commitment to the exciting sport. Bibbler has served as Chef d’Equipe for U.S. teams at international competitions on five occasions including at FEI World Championships in 1996 in Kaposvar, Hungary and the 2008 FEI World Championships in Brno, Czech Republic. She has also served as a competition manager for numerous vaulting events in the U.S. and on the Organizing Committee for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and its test event held in 2009. Bibbler has an extensive resume in governance roles, having been a member of the Board of Directors for both the American Vaulting Association and USEF, and being a vital member of multiple committees. She was also a co-founder of the Woodside Vaulters and has owned, trained, and lunged several horses throughout her time in the sport.


Langer of Burbank, Calif., has spent a lifetime immersed in the sport of jumping at all levels, after taking up riding at the age of six and never looking back. He is best known as the President and CEO of the Langer Equestrian Group, Inc., which produces more than 35 hunter/jumper and dressage competitions annually. He also founded and managed the Pacific Horse Center in Elk Grove, Calif., in the 1970s, which hosted a lesson program as well as a college accredited Horsemastership Program. Langer also founded the West Coast Grand Prix Association that ultimately merged with the American Grand Prix Association, for which he served on the Board of Directors. As a show manager, overall director, and official he has been actively involved with FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships for many years. Langer was also the competition manager for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and the 1992 FEI World Cup Finals in Del Mar, Calif. In governance roles, he has dedicated his time as a member of the Board of Directors and Committee member for the USEF, Show Jumping Hall of Fame, American Grand Prix Association, National Hunter/Jumper Council, USHJA, and the Pacific Coast Horse Show Association. As a testament to his dedication and knowledge of the sport, Langer has either been the President or Chairman of every major horse show organization in California.


Leone of Glen Rock, N.J., has expressed passionate and unwavering support of the United States’ international teams and their high performance athletes for many years. Leone, alongside his two younger brothers, internationally known as Team Leone, spent the beginning of his equestrian career in the show ring, jumping to many successful placings. In 1980, he was selected as an alternate to the jumping team for the boycotted Moscow Olympic Games. Leone has dedicated much of his time and effort to supporting and guiding the United States Equestrian Team Foundation; from 2003-2008 he served as the President and CEO of the Foundation and was the Chairman of the Board from 2008-2013. In his numerous roles with the USET, Leone helped guide the organization in providing the necessary financial support to ensure that the United States’ High Performance combinations were in the strongest possible position to win medals. He also served as a diligent Vice President of the USEF High Performance Working Group. Leone is still an active member of the USEF Planning, Compensation & Human Resources, Budget & Finance Committees as well as the Vice President, High Performance of the Ad Hoc Selections Committee.


For more information about the 2014 USEF Annual Meeting visit



The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation® is to provide leadership

for equestrian sport in the United States of America by promoting the pursuit

of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a

foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare

of its human and equine athletes.

2013 Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show Continues Tradition of Celebrating Area’s Equestrian Heritage

March 05, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Darien, CT – March 4, 2013 – Entering its 84th year, the 2013 Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show will be held from June 11th through 16th at the Ox Ridge Hunt Club (OHRC). The show is a United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Hunter “A” rated major riding competition featuring three-star rated jumpers ridden by Olympic-level and international equestrians. The show is known for its one- to six-foot show jumping exhibitions. Additionally, this year’s program marks the highly-anticipated countdown to the centennial anniversary celebration of the OHRC in 2014.


Darien’s Callari Auto Group: BMW, MINI, VOLVO (Westport) and FIAT (Stamford), and Pegasus Therapeutic Riding return as major sponsors of the event. Additional sponsorship and advertising opportunities are still available at a variety of levels, ranging from $250 to $30,000. Past sponsors have included, First County Bank, Doubletree Hotel, STL Construction, Grand Prix Equine, and Whole Foods of Darien.



“We are delighted with the support we’ve thus far received for this year’s Charity Show,” said Alan Griffin, General Manager of ORHC. “The money raised will ensure continued funding for Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, an organization founded at Ox Ridge in 1975.”



“We’re more than happy to be a returning sponsor for this year’s Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show. The event’s rich history in the Darien community, as well as the causes it supports, makes it worthy of continued investment,” said George Santangelo, Marketing Manager of the Callari Auto Group.



The OHRC was founded in 1914 as a polo and hunt riding club, and remains one of the area’s premiere indoor and outdoor hunter and jumper riding facilities. Resting on 37 acres of expertly tended land in the heart of Fairfield County, the non-profit OHRC hosts various social functions year-round, and offers members the use of its facilities for instruction, horse show, and pleasure riding.



For more information about the Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show, sponsorship, or advertising opportunities, please contact the Club Office at oxridgehuntclub@gmail.com


For more information please contact:

Jodi Morelli

Email: jodi.morelli@global-mediamarketing.com

Tel: +1 203.249.2839



URL: www.oxridge.com



About Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show: Now in its 84rd year, the show is extremely well-known among renowned riders, including Olympians McLain Ward and Peter Leone. Georgina Bloomberg and Geoffrey Wales have also competed, as well as riders from overseas. The program draws a crowd of over 7,000 spectators and more than 300 VIP’s on Sunday to watch the $30,000 Grand Prix.



The Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show is held at the Ox Ridge Hunt Club, a non-profit organization founded in 1914 on thirty-seven acres formerly owned by opera singer John McCormick. The club has extensive indoor and outdoor facilities that are some of the finest in Fairfield County.



2014 marks the 100th anniversary of Ox Ridge Hunt Club.


Rich Fellers & Flexible Top 2013 USEF Year-End Awards Banquet

January 22, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Rich Fellers Named 2012 USEF Equestrian of the Year
RELEASE: January 19, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: USEF Communications Department

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Rich Fellers, 2012 USEF Equestrian of the Year (Susan J. Stickle/PhelpsSports.com)
Louisville, KY – He was the first American in 25 years to win the Rolex/FEI World Cup Final, highest placing U.S. Equestrian at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and winner of all four observation classes he entered. Now you can call Rich Fellers 2012 USEF Equestrian of the Year as well.

Eight equestrians were nominated for the award and Fellers was revealed as the winner Saturday night at the USEF Pegasus Awards in Louisville, KY.

Fellers’ successes in 2012 made for a season few fans of show jumping will soon forget. With Harry and Mollie Chapman’s small but spectacular mount Flexible (who was named USEF International Horse of the Year on Friday), Fellers was unbeatable for a good portion of the year. Their memorable stretch began in s’Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands where they bested eventual Olympic Gold medalists Steve Guerdat and Nino de Buissonnets by .64s in a jump-off for the Rolex/FEI World Cup Finals Championship. After returning to the U.S. Rich and Flexible, already on the long list for London, entered four Observation Event classes and won them all. Included in those victories were such prestigious classes as the $100,000 Hermes Grand Prix of Del Mar and the $200,000 CN Performance Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows.

The strength of all those wins earned Fellers his first trip to the Olympic Games where he led the team. With a total of five faults, and an immaculate clear effort in Round B of the individual final, he earned an eighth place finish, and the distinction of being the highest placing American equestrian at the Olympic Games.

After London, Fellers and Flexible added another big money Grand Prix to their list of accomplishments by winning the $100,000 Canacord Genuity World Cup at Thunderbird Equestrian Park.

Rich Fellers lives in Sherwood, Oregon and trains privately for Harry and Mollie Chapman. He is one of the West Coast’s most decorated riders and was nominated for USEF Equestrian of the Year by virtue of winning the William C. Steinkraus trophy, presented every year to “an equestrian competing in the Olympic disciplines of dressage, eventing, or show jumping.”

A bio of Rich Fellers is available here.

Rich Fellers flight was delayed due to weather in Portland and he was not able to attend. Harry and Mollie Chapman accepted the award of his behalf.

Flexible, Jersey Boy Named 2012 USEF Horses of the Year
RELEASE: January 18, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: USEF Communications Department
Louisville, KY – At the USEF Annual Meeting on Friday horses Flexible and Jersey Boy were named 2012 USEF International Horse of the Year and USEF National Horse of the year respectively. These two winners, determined by a vote that was open to the public, were superstars of their disciplines in 2012 and earned the admiration of voters with big wins and sustained successes.

Flexible (Cruising x Flex)
1996 Irish Sport Horse Stallion
Owners: Harry and Mollie Chapman
Discipline – Show Jumping

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Flexible & Rich Fellers (Shannon Brinkman/USEF)
He’s a little horse that wins big and in 2012 he won the hearts of fans all over the U.S. Flexible’s victories at U.S. Olympic Team observation events in Del Mar (the $50,000 Surfside Grand Prix and the $100,000 Hermes Grand Prix of Del Mar) and at Spruce Meadows (the $35,000 Husky Energy Cup and $200,000 CN Performance Grand Prix) never seemed in doubt and earned him a ticket to London where he and rider Rich Fellers led the U.S. Team. Their 8th place finish in the Olympic Individual Jumping competition made them the highest placing American pair, but it was a performance earlier in the year against Olympic Gold medalists Steve Guerdat and Nino des Buissonnets at the Rolex/FEI World Cup Jumping Finals that was the highlight of their 2012 campaign.

In an absolutely thrilling jump-off, Flexible bested Nino Des Buissonnets by .64 seconds. It was the first time in 25 years that an American pair won the Rolex/FEI World Cup Final, and with that win Flexible jumped into both record books, and the race for 2012 Horse of the Year.

Adding to the impressive nature of his accomplishments is Flexible’s history of overcoming adversity. He is a small horse (15.3h), in a sport usually dominated by big ones, with an unorthodox style. Twice he has suffered from career threatening injuries, but managed to rise again, with the excellent guidance of Rich Fellers, to prominence in the sport of show jumping.

“This little chestnut horse turns up at the farm one day…I thought he was a pony” joked Harry Chapman about his first time seeing Flexible, before going on to say, “the first few miles on the road to success were a little bumpy…but once the road smoothed out, I have to say it was a hell of a ride and I sure hope it’s not over.

Video: 2012 International Horse of the Year

Flexible’s resiliency and talent are undeniable. For anyone that’s seen him in action, his accomplishments in 2012 were no surprise. But it is worth noting that his crowing as 2012 USEF Horse of the Year was never a guarantee until Horse of the Year voting closed in January. This year’s voting was the closest in the history of the award, with the top two horses being separated by less than 100 votes. It was through the passion of his fans and dedicated supporters that Flexible’s exhilarating and triumphant year ended with recognition as the 2012 USEF International Horse of the Year.

Jersey Boy (White Star x Unknown Dam)
2002 Hanoverian Gelding
Owner: SBS Farm
Discipline – Hunter

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Jersey Boy & Jennifer Alfano (Shawn McMillen)
Jersey Boy dominates. Describing why he is the 2012 USEF National Horse of the Year is as easy as that. If you’re unfamiliar with SBS farm’s impressive 11 year-old gelding, his accomplishments in the hunter ring are unparalleled.

For the four years that the USHJA International Hunter Derby has been in existence Jersey Boy has ruled it. He is the leader on the International Hunter Derby lifetime earnings list with a total of $196,640. He has won a total of 20 Hunter Derby classes, and has three series titles to his name. He’s been described as the “quintessential Derby horse” and his record proves it. But 2012 was different.

Though Jersey Boy was as good as ever, he came into the year still striving for one major title: USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals winner.

The field at the finals was the best it’s ever been and, with longtime rider Jennifer Alfano, Jersey Boy was sitting in third place after the Classic Hunter round. So, with ground to make up, in front of a packed house at Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park, Jersey Boy had to be at his best during the Handy Hunter round. He was. On the strength of that superb round Jersey Boy ended up with a 588.25 score, clinched the USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by Dietrich Equine Insurance win, and put the exclamation point on his bid for 2012 USEF National Horse of the Year honors.

Following the Hunter Derby Finals Jersey Boy strengthened his case with major wins that included the $10,000 International Hunter Derby at the State College Classic, the $15,000 International Hunter Derby at Skidmore College Saratoga Classic, and the Chicago Hunter Derby.

Video: USEF National Horse of the Year

“You know, Jersey Boy is an exceptional Horse, probably the best hunter to have gone through the SBS stables” said Mason Phelps, accepting the award on behalf of SBS Farms, “I’m honored that they asked me to accept this award on their behalf.”

Even with a Hunter Derby Finals win in hand, and a USEF National Horse of the Year title, Jersey Boy shows no signs of slowing down heading into the 2013 season.

The other four USEF Horses of Honor were:

Germ (Ulbert X Tjalda Fan Lutke Peinjum)
2002 Friesian Gelding
Owner: Koreen Greenberg

Germ (pronounced Harem) continued to make a name for himself with his perfect performance record in 2012. In 2012 the majestic Friesian gelding added eight additional World titles to his impeccable show record at the IFSHA World and Grand Nationals bringing his career total to 21 World and National titles.

CHCourageous Lord (Roseridge Heir x Lord Have Mercy)
2001 American Saddlebred Gelding
Owner: Fox Grape Farms, Inc.

CHCourageous Lord made a remarkable transition in 2012. The big moving gelding had spent much of his career competing in the Open Five-Gaited division, three times winning the Five Gaited World’s Grand Championship at the Kentucky State Fair with Merrill Murray. In 2012 CHCourageous Lord made the bold move into the Five Gaited Amateur division with his new rider Dr. Owen Weaver, and continued his winning ways.

NTEC Richter Scale (Unknown Breeding)
1994 Shire Cross Gelding
Owner: Kai Handt

It takes a special kind of horse, one with immense heart and kindness, to compete in para-equestrian dressage and be a champion. In 2012, NTEC Richter Scale demonstrated all those attributes. With rider Jonathan Wentz, the 17.2h draft cross claimed the USEF National Para-Equestrian Reserve Championship and earned a place on the U.S. team at the 2012 Paralympic Games. In London, Wentz and NTEC Richter Scale led the U.S. team to their most successful Championship finish in recent years. The pair twice came devastatingly close to standing on the Individual medal podium, finishing fourth in the Grade 1b Individual Test and fifth in the Grade 1b Freestyle Test.

Manoir de Carneville (Gaub x Carneville)
2000 Selle Francais Gelding
Owner: Carraig LLC

In 2012, Manoir de Carneville and rider Sinead Halpin assumed their place as one of the top eventing combinations. The pair spent the spring fine tuning their skills by winning an Intermediate section at Southern Pines and then picking up second place in the Advanced at The Fork Horse Trials. In May, they placed second in the CIC3* at Jersey Fresh before traveling to England as a member of the U.S. Eventing Short List for the 2012 Olympic Games. The pair remained in England and trained throughout the summer in preparation for what would be their largest success to date.

A Primer on Attending a USEF Convention – by Kim MacMillan

January 20, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

A Primer on Attending a USEF Convention
By Kim MacMillan
I’d lay odds that almost none of us have ever contemplated the matrix of organization, planning and administration it takes to provide a centerline for us to trot down or a course to jump at our favorite shows and events. The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF, our national governing body for equestrian sport in the U.S.A.) just takes our dues, records our show points and e-mails us a magazine every so often, right? Well, actually, there’s a whole lot more to running the horse show world in our country.
I am attending my third USEF Annual Convention this week, held this year in Louisville, KY. There is a bit of a learning curve to navigating the intricate, five-day schedule of meetings, social events and awards ceremonies that make up the convention. I’ll try to explain….
First, you have to interpret the myriad of acronyms that designate committees and groups such as HP Working Group (high performance athletes from the eight FEI disciplines that meet in one group), LOC (licensed officials committee – judges, technical delegates, stewards, course designers, etc.) or D & M (drugs and medications committee – the group that manages the ever growing list of prohibited and restricted medications and supplements that may or may not be given to a competition horse) – just to name a few that you encounter when you scan the convention schedule.
Once you determine what each group or committee does, you have to pick and choose which of their meetings to sit in on as some of the times overlap. The meeting rooms are a beehive of activity as the committee members, some attending in person and others calling in on a conference call apparatus that looks like it should be on the bridge of the Star Ship Enterprise. They hash out proposed rule changes, discuss projects and upcoming national or international competitions. To the uninitiated it may sound kind of boring, but actually discussions can be quite passionate at times and it is an eye-opening experience to learn about the time and effort these volunteer committee members put into their jobs.
After each committee discusses the proposed bylaw changes they pass them back to the huge USEF Board of Directors with the committee’s suggested action and any comments or proposed adjustments. This goes on for a few days until the Board of Directors acts on the proposed rule changes by either voting to adopt the changes, voting them down or agreeing to table the various proposals for further discussion at a later date. Using this “filter” system the Board actually works its way through an amazingly long agenda in a fairly short time. Another surprising fact is that the USEF Board of Directors meetings are open to the public and although there are a few “closed” committee meetings, most are open to the public at least part of the time.
Then there are the social events and awards ceremonies, such as the last night’s Welcome Reception held at the local micro brewery, the Silver Stirrup Awards held tonight, the Horse-of-the-Year Awards tomorrow night and finally the black-tie Pegasus Awards (which recognize the people instrumental to the U.S. horse show industry in various ways) to wind up the convention on Saturday evening.
There is always a mix of interesting people attending these events. They come from the FEI disciplines (dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, para, reining, show jumping and show jumping), from the hunter world and western riding arenas, and the affiliate breeds such as Arabians, Andalusians/Lusitanos, Friesians, Hackneys, National Show Horses, Saddlebreds, Shetland Ponies and Welsh Ponies. The things that this diverse group of horse people have in common are a passion for horses and a desire to give back to the horse industry by lending their time and talents to the USEF. I’ve learned to respect and appreciate the contributions of people from disciplines and breeds once foreign to me – there really are more similarities than differences once they get down to the business of running the USEF.
At tonight’s Silver Stirrup Awards I met a wide variety of folks ranging from a young lady named Melissa Recknor from Lexington, KY, who rescued a Thoroughbred mare named Fly Lite to win the Reserve Champion Beginner Novice Eventing Award, to television personality Carson Kressley (perhaps best known for his “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” series) who is a former Saddlebred World Champion rider. Everywhere you looked there were people wielding ribbons, flashing cameras and visiting with old friends or meeting new ones.
But, I think the person having the best time at tonight’s awards ceremony was the outgoing USEF President David O’Connor who just a few hours before had handed over the reins of the USEF to incoming President Christine Tauber after nine years of leading the  association. He hasn’t really retired from center stage, as he is the new Chef d’equipe of the U.S. Eventing Team, but he seemed happy to take off his presidential hat after the long haul.
In my opinion the USEF and U.S. equestrian sports are better off after his time in office. He has a clear sense of purpose and a great way of sizing up a situation and dealing with it head on without being threatening to those with opposing viewpoints. The same qualities that allowed him to guide Custom Made to an Olympic gold medal served him well during his presidency. Many thanks David and good luck in your new assignment.
 For news of the various USEF Awards winners from this convention watch the Sidelines web site for further postings or go to www.usefnetwork.com to watch the 2013 Pegasus awards this Saturday, January 19th.

USEF Merchandise Booth at 2013 Convention

USEF Merchandise Booth at 2013 Convention