Mack’s Moments “The Immigrant Dream” Coming to America

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Written by Christy

Las Vegas – A “Microcosm of America”?

“This is the GREATEST place on the planet to have a horse show! Any horse show!” I was, at first, shocked to the soles of my shoes when a German confrere in the journalists’ guild offered this observation concerning Las Vegas. As a U.S. born and bred individual, this city has always traveled under the epithet, “Sin City.”

“How could an erudite, well read, and classy German writer hold this city (whose name truly means “the Meadows” . . . a far cry from the salacious nature of the place today) in such high esteem?” This was the question that rattled about in my tin head overnight.

My answer? Las Vegas presents itself to even the most casual visitor as a microcosm of America. My German friend and compatriot was able to rattle off the names of four Las Vegas establishments that, every time he passed them in a taxi on his way to or from the dressage competition, made him think that Las Vegas is supremely “America”: the Harley Davidson Café, the Planet Hollywood Hotel, the Hard Rock Café, and the “New York, New York” hotel and casino. Okay I can see his point when one takes an even casual glance at the “New York, New York” hotel. What can be more “American than apple pie” than the pint-sized Statue of Liberty and the miniature representations of the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building? But Las Vegas as “a microcosm of America”?!? Come on, Father Mack, you’re pulling our leg, aren’t you?

In a final effort to win over the terminally dubious, I plead the proper name of Boyd Polhamus. Folks who have attended any of the three World Cup competitions that have been held in Las Vegas know this gentleman from his extreme cowboy presence alongside the announcers for both the show jumping and dressage portions of the games. He is the fellow in the big (and I mean BIG . . . I don’t think it is a ten gallon hat, more like a fifteen gallon model) who invites us (insists is more like it) to stand and “remove cover” for the display of Old Glory and the singing of the U.S. national anthem. Boyd is the epitome of frontier spirit and could not appear further from the image most of us (probably rightly) have of Las Vegas and its culture (or lack thereof).

Even as I type these words, I realize that I am sending horrifying shivers down the spines of our readers who – if I may characterize them – consider themselves part of “middle America.” Good, honest, hard-working, and God fearing people -- such as my Mom and Pop raised me to be take -- even such a casual glance at Las Vegas and they see it for the place I named it above, “Sin City.”

“Alright, already,” you may be thinking to yourselves, “what has any of this to do with tonight’s freestyle competition?” “America in microcosm” is what I hope (dare I type “pray”?) we will see tonight. I speak of my and so many other people’s hopes that a gentleman who chose to be part and parcel of these United States, Mister Steffen Peters, and his collaborator, Ravel, will continue their winning ways, begun at Friday’s Grand Prix, in tonight’s final contest.

This article is most likely going to run on for several pages, so I will try to reduce your tedium of reading my (oft times rambling) thoughts by pointing you toward a truly excellent interview. A gentleman named Rick Lamb on his radio/Internet program, “The Horse Show”, conducted this interview. If you are wary of clicking on the pointer provided below, please know that to listen to the full interview with Steffen (for free!) you will not have to surrender your privacy and will not be bombarded with unwanted e-mail. Theinterview from the fourth of Aprilwill permit you to listen to Steffen’s own words about the pride he feels in representing our nation.

Steffen, like so many of our own ancestors, is on these shores by choice. He is not here (as am I) by an accident of birth. He did not cross the Atlantic because his lot in life was going to be that much rosier than in his native Germany. This man chose to throw in his lot with the likes of you and me. Steffen Peters came to America in search of an immigrant’s dream. To repeat myself, I both hope and pray he will find the fulfillment (at least a small installment on that complete fulfillment) of his dream in tonight’s final of the World Cup.


The Freestyles Begin

Australian, Heath Ryan and his cohort Regardez Moi (one of Rubinstein’s offspring) were the first contestants upon the field. This team’s music was wholly from the popular Disney movie, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.” Strong stringed instruments and an underlying bass section that would not go away nicely complimented each of Regardez Moi’s movements. This listener/viewer found the nearly one-to-one agreement of the music’s meter to the mount’s footfalls very attractive. I will have to wait to see if the judges agree with me when they post their scores for artistic merit. Obviously, Heath’s theatrical flourish of his top hat following the halt at X told us that this rider felt his and his partner’s expenditure of energy was on target. A total of 70.300 proves a not too shabby beginning (particularly when one recalls Heath’s neglect of the first halt before the judge at C in the opening Grand Pix of the World Cup).

Colombian Marco Bernal aboard the lady horse, Diamore (13 year old Dutch Warm Blood, Diamond x Fruhling) were next to go. Music (coordinated by Terry Ciotti Gallo) seemed to my less-than-perfectly trained ear an even better match to the paces of this mare than was the score of Ryan’s performance. Strong strings in all the pieces of music chosen underscored the ease with which this horse and rider combo passed from one phase of the test to the next. I thought that Diamore’s elevation (especially of her hindquarters) during each piaffe left something to be desired. Marco’s exuberant waves to the crowd and his production of Colombia’s national flag from a hiding place inside his shadbelly was mirrored by the Bernal family’s equally vigorous brandishing of a much larger bandera in the stands above the in gate. The judges were less impressed by the entire package of athletic competence and artistic presentation as they rewarded Bernal and Diamore with only a 66.750.

The Netherlands’, Jeanette Haazen on Nartan (Dutch Warm Blood, Jazz x Le Faquin) demonstrated the human half’s creativity even before the judges’ bell rang when I was told that Ms. Haazen supervised the music for her freestyle from start to finish. If one recalls the sartorial splendor of this lady (upon which I have commented in earlier articles) we should not be at all surprised by this artistic touch. The dynamic duo’s halt at O rather than the more common C was a last grand gesture. Tonight’s judging panel showed its appreciation of the entire package when they bestowed a final score of 75.600 to place Jeanette and Nartan at the top amongst the early goers.

Poland’s Michal Rapcewicz on Randon (Polish Warm Blood, Czuwa x Famino) entered to face an audience that was still in awe of the entrants whose performance they had just enjoyed. In the face of so daunting a task these winners of the Central European League played Randon’s excellent passage for all it was worth. The nearly impeccable passage at the end of their ride (leading into the halt before the judge at C with nary a sign of being tired) were used to the hilt. Will it be enough? I wait with anticipation to hear the professionals’ opinion. That opinion is in. Michal and Randon fell just behind Jeanette Haazen with a cumulative tally of 72.750.

Swede Jan Brink and his 18-year-old partner, Briar (Swedish Warm Blood, Magini x Krocket) made the latter’s eighth World Cup appearance (and Briar’s last such) appearing from the get-go to be in fine fettle. An out of the box piaffe would have made me think the equine half of this pair was half his age as did the extended trot that followed. A failed piaffe-passage transition immediately in the face of the judge at C made all of us who want to see this pair succeed gasp. Professionals that they are, Jan and Briar came back with smiles upon their faces (well, Jan’s at least) to finish the mission ahead. As if to show that the passage mis-step near the opening of their freestyle was a quirk, the pair finished their routine with a lively passage to earn a total of 71.650 (third at the mid-point of tonight’s contest).

A previously unannounced treat unfolded before our eyes when Jan and Briar had left the ring. Guenter Seidel and Elizabeth Ball entered on Fandango and Orion to treat us to a reprise of their pas-de-deux from Friday.  Since I first delighted in this spectacle, I have learned that Elizabeth practiced the routine while wearing a bed sheet (to simulate the voluptuous white gown she wore yesterday and today). This sheet draped down over Orion’s back and shoulders. I wonder if the other horses peeking out from their stalls did not giggle at poor Orion in such a get up?

Whatever Orion’s barnmates may have thought of his bed sheet garment, tonight’s much larger crowd was on the edge of its collective seat throughout. Guenter and Elizabeth’s reward for their unscheduled second day of labor was a highly appreciative standing ovation with Judge Linda Zang (O level judge from the USA, working tonight at C) leading the way. She fairly sprang to her feet and applauded wildly.

As the ring was dragged, many from the audience stood or wandered up and down the steps of the arena to dissipate the emotional energy they had built up during a thrilling first half. When Brian O’Connor pled (as only he can do), the assembly (reluctantly) returned to its seats. [I haven’t said it publicly in quite some time, but you are a true treasure, Brian! No one can both inform and manage a horse show audience so well as you. Kudos!]

Germany’s Monica Theodorescu and her mount, Whisper (Baden-Württemberg, Welt Hit I O x Weltstar) brought the throng out of its “Phantom of the Opera” daydream and back to the terra firma of international dressage. Monica’s and Whisper’s electrifying ride to the stirring strings we have heard so many times before resulted in a chart-topping total of 76.850. I do not wish to slight this extremely gifted rider nor her mount by the brevity of my comments, but (at the risk of being coy) you had to be there to feel the voltage that flowed through the crowd.

The Netherlands’ Hans Peter Minderhoud and his mount, Exquis Nadine (Dutch Warm Blood, Partout x Roemer), brought a smile to the faces of the over-fifties in the crowd as they rode to a mixture of “soft rock” melodies from the sixties and seventies (The Carpenters’ “Close to You,” The Turtles “Happy Together,” and The Byrds’ “Turn, Turn, Turn” amongst these). Hans Peter told me that he is NOT a fan of this style of music, but that (when his musical advisor brought them to his attention) he realized how well they complemented Nadine’s bearing. The judges obviously agreed with Hans Peter (and his advisor) handing the team a score of 81.050. Monica’s time on the mountain top was decidedly limited.

Germany’s Isabell Werth and Satchmo (Hanoverian, Sao Paulo x Legat) quickly sought to bump Mijnheer Minderhoud from his ranking riding to a soul stirring arrangement recorded by the Potsdamer Symphony Orchestra. A welcome grand gesture I first associate with Robert Dover – riding the last movement down the midline holding the reins in a single hand – showed how fully compliant Satchmo is to his mistress. The German twosome did not put a single foot wrong so far as my untrained eye could tell. Perhaps I am not so untrained as I think, for the cumulative score given was an awe inspiring 84.500. Two of the five judges granted Isabell and Satchmo an artistic score of 92. It seems they found the music as soul stirring as did I.

The United States’ Steffen Peters and Ravel (Dutch Warm Blood, Contango x Democraat) came before us appearing every bit as pumped up as I had expected. The team’s music (Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida,” the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil,” and Men Without Hats’ “Safety Dance” – All music chosen by Steffen himself and produced for public performance by the redoubtable Terry Ciotti Gallo) had the people near me bopping to the tunes. Steffen’s and Terry’s selection of the extended bongo riff in “Sympathy for the Devil” as Ravel performed his oh-so-steady passage at M struck me as supremely effective. I can only hold my breath while the judges do their work and the scores are compiled. Okay, I can take a breath now. The men and women who make these deliberations their business came to the conclusion that the number of 85.950 expressed how near perfection was Steffen and Ravel’s effort this evening. These last four riders have successively elbowed their predecessor out of the way. Steffen accomplished this task with the assistance of two judges who awarded artistic scores of 93.

The Netherlands Anky Van Grunsven on Painted Black (Dutch Warm Blood, Gribaldi x Ferro) knew they had their work cut out for them as they passed the in gate. The tango music to which this pair circled the ring did not have the onlookers swinging to and fro as had Herr Peters’ more lively selections, but the melodies suited Painted Black’s temperament and his strides well enough. I cannot tell you whether the mass of humanity had expended the bulk of its energy in the outpouring of love they visited upon Steffen and Ravel or if they were simply absorbed in the ride presently before them, but they were quietly observant of and appreciative of the athletes who were on stage at the moment. I must pay a special compliment to Anky for her halt at C. It was splendid, it was perfectly square, and her final rider’s salute (with a swing of her right hand in perfect synchronization with the downbeat of the tango’s final note) assisted the team as they left the ring bearing a score of 82.250.

Canada’s Ashley Holzer on Pop Art (Dutch Warm Blood, Amsterdam x Cabouchon) came onto the scene while I heard conversations all around me asking the same question, “She’s good, but she can’t beat Steffen’s score. Can she?” The undercurrent of these questions was a clear, “Please, dear God, don’t let her beat Steffen’s numbers.” Ashley went all out, riding to music taken largely from the cinema hit, “National Treasure.” Here, again, the rider and her squad of co-workers have done a fine job of finding music that will both be accessible (or familiar) to the judges and to the audience and will also mesh with Pop Art’s expressive strides. With great energy and, at the same time, clear composure the team attacked the freestyle they had set for themselves. While we U.S. patriots held our communal breath the computers calculated the cumulative score for the bearers of the Maple leaf to spurt out a number of 79.200.

Only when the numerals popped up on the overhead scoreboard could we take in a deep breath and let the realization take hold: STEFFEN HAD WON. The immigrant dream is more of a reality now than at any earlier point in Steffen Peter’s career.


The Aftermath

The immigrant nature of the dream we in this arena shared was reinforced when Brian O’Connor invited back into the ring Jan Brink and his still vibrant partner, Briar. For what seemed like the umpteenth time this evening, the audience rose to its feet and applauded madly to say a fitting farewell to this noble animal. For may part, I hope this hardy beast savors every mouthful of grass between now and his last day. We all, I believe, look forward to the offspring he will produce.

Unlike previous evening when, at the conclusion of dressage or show jumping sessions, many in the crowd took their belongings and fled, tonight only a small percentage of the crowd headed for the exits immediately. The bulk of us remained glued to our seats waiting for the return of THEM to the ring.

The thirteenth thorough fourth place finishers of the 2009 World Cup circled the ring as pulses again began to quicken. Immediately after the last horse had cleared the in gate, fireworks showered down from the ceiling of the Thomas and Mack Arena while a platform holding the World Cup trophy descended into sight beneath a blaze of psychedelic lights.

Worthies from Rolex (the primary sponsor of these tests), from the FEI, and from Las Vegas Events (the local organizers) were introduced before Anky Van Grunsven, Isabell Werth, and (FINALLY!) the hero of the moment came down the tunnel and into sight. To our credit, we in the stands opened our throats in appropriate praise and put our hands together in tribute to all three of these happy warriors.

But there was no restraining our pride and our love when this man who has achieved an American dream came into sight. While I have always thought Ravel to be an unusually pliable and cooperative horse, tonight he barely moved a muscle as we stood and “removed cover” for the playing of our National Anthem.

There may not have been as many tear-filled eyes in the house as we saw during Brentina’s retirement ceremony, but it is safe to say that emotions were riding high while our victor and his mount took their lap of honor. I think I hear a rumble of approval coming from the vicinity of Ellis Island. Can it be? I believe the countless souls of generations of immigrants gone by were praising this kindred spirit, Mister Steffen Peters. Lord knows, he deserves such praise.

Photos Courtsey of Cealy Tetley and Ruth McCormick

Dressage World Cup Finals 2015

Sunday, March 29, 2015 - 05:04
Written By: Classic Communications
Reigning champions Charlotte Dujardin...
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 06:56
  The FEI has today confirmed the entries for the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final 2015 which will take place in Las Vegas, NV (USA) in three weeks’ time. The Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final 2015 will begin on Thursday 16 April with the Grand Prix which is open to all 18 combinations. All participants who finish the Grand Prix with a score of at least 58% will continue to the Grand Prix Freestyle which will be held on Saturday 18 April.The following rider/horse combinations will be taking part in the event:Western European League (9 slots)Edward Gal/Glock’s Undercover (NED)Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl/Unee BB (GER)Fabienne Lutkemeier/D’Agostino (GER)Isabell Werth/Don Johnson/El Santo (GER)Hans Peter Minderhoud/Glock’s Flirt (NED)Agnete Kirk Thinggaard/Jojo (DEN)Morgan Barbanc...
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 08:03
Laura Graves along with Steffen Peters have clinched their spot for the 2015 World Cup in Las Vegas. Lexington, KY. - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) will be represented by two combinations at the 2015 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Las Vegas, NV. April 15-19. The following combinations qualified during World Cup Qualifying Events in the North American League held throughout the 2014-2015 season (listed alphabetically):Laura Graves - (Plymouth, Fla.) and her own VerdadesVerdades is a 2002 KWPN gelding.Steffen Peters - (San Diego, Calif.) and Four Winds Farm, LLC's Legolas 92Legolas 92 is a 2002 Westphalian gelding. Follow the U.S. Dressage Team here.
Monday, March 23, 2015 - 10:49
Written By: Yellow Horse Marketing for the California Dressage Society
Steffen Peters...
Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 15:38
Written By: Yellow Horse Marketing for California Dreaming Productions
Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 (Photo: Jennifer M Keeler) San Juan Capistrano, CA. - The world was watching as thousands tuned in to CDP Live's wildly-popular online video streaming service to see two incredibly impressive fields of Grand Prix and Prix St. Georges competitors fight it out for top marks on the first day of competition at California Dreaming Productions' Capistrano Dressage International CDI-W/Y/J/U-25, being held March 19 - 22 in beautiful San Juan Capistrano, Cal.  But emerging as the big winner of the day was Olympian and long-time U.S. Dressage Team member Steffen Peters, who earned both first and second place in the CDI Grand Prix test aboard Legolas 92 and superstar-in-the-making Rosemunde with scores of 76.780% and 74.960%, respectively. "One score above 74% in a day...
Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 15:36
Prix St. Georges winners Mette Rosencrantz...
Sunday, March 15, 2015 - 11:20
Written By: Louise Parkes
The top three in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Western European League: L to R - Hans Peter Minderhoud/Glock’s Flirt, runners-up Isabell Werth/Don Johnson FRH and winners Edward Gal/Glock’s Undercover. (Photo: FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst) The Netherlands’ Edward Gal and Glock’s Undercover clinched victory at the last qualifying leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2014/2015 Western European League on home ground at ‘s-Hertogenbosch today. Always favourites to take maximum points after their convincing win in yesterday’s Grand Prix, the pair didn’t disappoint this afternoon when producing some spectacular work when third-last into the arena. But Gal’s masterful riding skills were fully tested by moments of tension from the 14-year-old gelding with which he finished third at the Re...
Sunday, March 1, 2015 - 06:21
Written By: Louise Parkes
Jessica won Bredow-Werndl, GER and Unee B won the Reem Acra EI World Cup Grand Prix kür. (Photo: Roland Thunholm) For the second year in a row, Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Unee BB reigned supreme at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Western European League qualifier in Gothenburg, Sweden today. In 2014 the pair scored 81.350 to pin the host nation’s Patrik Kittel and Toy Story into runner-up spot. But in today’s second-last leg of the 2014/2015 series, Kittel had to settle for fourth behind The Netherlands’ Edward Gal and Glock’s Voice, while Germany ruled the roost with Isabell Werth filling second spot with El Santo behind her fellow-countrywoman in pole position. Her score of 81.650 was not von Bredow-Werndl’s personal best this season, but she was more than happy with it. Goth...
Friday, February 20, 2015 - 10:13
Written By: Jennifer Keeler - Yellow Horse Marketing
Steffen Peters and Four Winds Farms' Legolas 92 will look to earn valuable World Cup qualifying scores at this weekend's Mid Winter Dressage Fair CDI in California Photo: Terri Miller The Los Angeles Equestrian Center will be "the place to be" this weekend as some of the nation's best and brightest dressage stars compete at California Dreaming Productions' Mid-Winter Dressage Fair CDI-W/Y/J/U-25, which runs February 20 - 22 in Burbank, Cal. Following a stellar inaugural year in 2014, the organizing team of California Dreaming Productions (CDP) now looks to continue to change the way riders, trainers, owners and spectators experience the sport of dressage on the West Coast, and their second year is off to a spectacular start with an overflowing field of CDI and national competitors schedu...
Monday, February 2, 2015 - 14:00
Written By: Louise Parkes
Reigning champions, Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, strutted to victory at the sixth leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2014/2015 Western European League in Amsterdam. (Photo: FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst) Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro swept to victory with the greatest of ease at the sixth leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2014/2015 Western European League series in Amsterdam, The Netherlands today. The 29-year-old rider only returned from New Zealand a few days ago after presenting Masterclasses in Hamilton and Christchurch, and admitted to feeling “seriously jet-lagged”. But such is the exceptional relationship she has with the 13-year-old Valegro that she only fell 0.4 points short of the world-record Freestyle score the pair set at Olympi...

Eventing

Friday, March 27, 2015 - 10:24
John Strassburger
Temecula, CA, March 26, 2015-Competitors arriving for the Galway Downs annual Galway Downs International Horse Trials are finding a busier and even more beautiful Galway Downs Equestrian Center than ever before. More than 150 racehorses are now in training on the grounds, landscaping work is continuing to beautify the site, and the parking lot on...
Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 11:17
John Strassburger
Temecula, CA - Competitors at the Galway Downs International Horse Trials always expect new challenges, but the top-level riders and horses from the United States, Canada and other countries will face some questions they haven't seen before on March 26-29 at the Galway Downs Equestrian Center.
Riders will be competing in three international...
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 13:03
Jenni Autry, Eventing Nation
Phillip Dutton said he didn’t think John and Kristie Norton’s I’m Sew Ready has ever galloped as quickly as he did today across Hugh Lochore’s CIC3* cross country course at the Cloud 11-Gavilan North LLC Carolina International in Raeford, North Carolina. After the horse missed his first run of the year at Pine Top due to a cough, Phillip decided...
Monday, March 23, 2015 - 09:16
FEI Communications
France’s Eventing riders produced an emphatic win in the first FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing competition of the 2015 season at the weekend in Fontainebleau (FRA). The French team repeated their 2014 victory when they also won on home soil, and they enjoyed a comfortable winning margin of nearly 30 penalties over Australia, who finished second....
Monday, March 16, 2015 - 13:45
FEI Communications
Spring is in the air for the international Eventing community with the eagerly awaited launch this weekend of the FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing 2015 season at the popular French venue of Fontainebleau.
 
This series, first piloted in 2012, was designed to aid national coaches in preparing their championship squads by providing them with the...
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 14:43
Classic Communications
Fair Hill, MD - Fair Hill International, home of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) CCI*** and CCI** Fall Eventing Championships, is pleased to welcome Carla Geiersbach as their new Executive Director effective March 30, 2015.  The Dutta Corp Fair Hill International, located in beautiful Fair Hill, Maryland, is one of the most...
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 06:59
Start Off The Spring Season at Full Moon Farm's New and Young Event Horse Tests! This is the perfect first outing for both horse and rider and a great way to start your season regardless of your horse's age or experience! Full Moon Farm is a family-owned and operated, full-service equestrian facility located in Finksburg, Maryland-...

Reining and Western Riding

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 22:09
Marty Bauman
Top international riders to compete for record-high $300,000 in prize money.  The 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Land Rover, returns to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky., April 23 - 26. This Olympic-level, high-stakes competition draws the world's best riders and horses to Kentucky from all corners of the globe...
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 09:16
Top International Riders to Compete for Record-High $300,000 in Prize Money Lexington, KY - March 10, 2015 - The 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Land Rover, returns to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, April 23 - 26. This Olympic-level, high-stakes competition draws the world's best riders and horses to Kentucky from...
Sunday, March 8, 2015 - 11:58
Susanne J. Rowe
On an overcast winter day a group of horses and riders gather in Sandy Valley. The scene is reminiscent of the Old West—the horses wear hefty leather saddles and their riders wear blue jeans and cowboy boots. But this is no rodeo. The Sandy Valley group is participating in a Western Dressage 1-2-3 clinic endorsed by the North American Western...
Saturday, March 7, 2015 - 09:35
Lynn Palm and Cyril Pittion-Rossillon offer Western Dressage training for horse and rider at their Fox Grove Farm in Ocala, FL throughout the year. March 11-17 is a week devoted to this fastest growing new discipline. Palm’s and Pittion-Rossillon’s ultimate goal is to develop willing horses and happy riders! “That is exactly what the beautiful...
Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 15:47
American Quarter Horse Association
The American Quarter Horse Association, February 17, 2015 - The American Quarter Horse Association has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Mark your calendars today with the tentative dates!
AQHA Convention
• March 6-9 – 2015 AQHA Convention at the Omni Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas
• March 7 – Markel AQHA Cowtown...
Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 15:31
ARHA – Austrian Reining Horse Association
$80,000-added AustrianRHA Futurity...
Monday, February 16, 2015 - 13:01
World Para Reining
Tampa, Florida – February 15, 2015:  The Florida Reining Classic at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center in Tampa, Florida will be the second show to host World Para Reining (WPR) approved classes, on February 21 and 22. To add to the excitement, the WPR will offer $500 in prize money for this event and the champion from each WPR class will receive $...

Driving

Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 14:57
Ocala, FL (March 28, 2015) – “I strive for personal best each and every time I enter the arena,” says driving competitor Suzy Stafford.  At the Live Oak International CDE competition on March 19-22 2015, Stafford showed that her personal best is winning first place. She and her mare PVF Peace Of Mind (who Stafford calls “Hunny”) defended their...
Monday, March 23, 2015 - 07:49
Leah Oliveto
Ocala, Fla. - The first United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Driving National Championship titles of the year were decided today at Live Oak International CDE in the Single Pony, Pair Pony, Pony Team and Pair Horse divisions. Drivers navigated the 20-obstacle course on the final day of the championships as the leaders coming into the cones...
Monday, March 23, 2015 - 07:40
Combined Driving’s Crowning Glories Ocala, Florida (March 22, 2015)— For four American horse and pony drivers, years of training and dedication to their sport were justly rewarded as Live Oak International proudly congratulated their efforts with 2015 USEF National Championships, sponsored by Hillcroft Farm. “This is the first big win I’...
Sunday, March 22, 2015 - 13:37
Ocala, FL — The most anticipated day of driving at the 2015 Live Oak International arrived in full Live Oak International Marathon style. March 21, the third day of the celebrated driving competition, brought more sunshine, bigger crowds, and several top drivers vying to take the leading spot in the four-day competition. Chester Weber, one of the...
Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 08:16
Ocala, FL — A historic and international flair was apparent on the second day of driving performances at Live Oak International. The competition runs through Sunday, March 22, in Ocala, Florida. Impressively low scores, narrow margins, long time competitors, and a returning champion gamely defending his title were among the highlights in today’s...
Friday, March 20, 2015 - 19:44
Ocala, FL - Beautiful horses and beautifully appointed drivers opened the first day of competition at the Live Oak International with the Yellowframe Farm FEI Driven Dressage classes for Single, Pair, and Four-in-Hand horses and ponies. Appearing for the first time as a new father at his family’s annual driving and show jumping extravaganza,...
Friday, March 20, 2015 - 05:38
Everyone tune in as our own Bossmare Mary Phelps will be competing and we hope to see her on course with her ponies - "The Gangsters"!! The 2015 Live Oak International in Ocala, FL. is an equestrian event highlighted by world-class show jumpers and drivers as they compete for top titles. Between competitions spectators gather in the...

Show Jumping

Friday, March 27, 2015 - 10:40
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
Miami Beach, FL - March 26, 2015 - After 40 years in Tampa, Florida and following the bold move to the East coast last year at Sun Life Stadium, one of America's most iconic show jumping events, the American Invitational, has found a new home, this time as Friday's main event on the world's richest and most popular show jumping series, the...
Friday, March 27, 2015 - 10:29
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
Wellington, Florida  - The entry deadline for the Hunter, Equitation, Hunter Breeding, Pony Hunter Breeding, Local Hunter and all Jumper Sections at the prestigious Devon Horse Show And Country Fair is March 30, 2015. Entries can be sent in via mail or completed online through the Devon Horse Show's partner Show Management System. Entries sent in...
Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 11:10
Lake Placid Horse Show Press
Lake Placid, NY - March 25, 2015 - The 46th annual Lake Placid Horse Shows, presented by Sea Shore Stables LLC, will once again host three amazing weeks of top horse show competition this summer set against the beautiful backdrop of the Adirondack Mountains.  New footing and increased prize money, combined with a world-class venue and perfect...
Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 11:04
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
Ox Ridge and Fairfield Grand Prix Winners to receive a MINI for the summer! CallariCars.com (BMW, MINI, VOLVO) has signed on to support the EQUUS Foundation through its sponsorship of two major equestrian events in the local Fairfield County community this summer and will award the Grand Prix winners of each of the events with a MINI Cooper to be...
Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 10:46
Carrie Wirth for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
Wellington, FL - March 25, 2015 - Messenger Hill Farm, trainers Freddie and Jodi Vazquez and their clients are continuing their successful season at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). During WEF Week 10 Freddie Vazquez and his stallion Zippo Z came earned fifth place the $127,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3*. This past week, Vazquez and...
Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 10:42
Emily Riden, Phelps Media Group, Inc.
Wellington, FL - With a year-round, full schedule of AA, A, and B-rated horse shows, as well as local and regional hunter/jumper shows, Swan Lake Horse Shows has competition tailored to every level and budget. For Laura Gross and Briana Kenerson the Winter Finale Horse Show, held March 19-22, was the perfect fit for each of their up-and-coming 6-...
Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 09:59
Mary Adelaide Brakenridge for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
Wellington, FL - March 25, 2015 - The 2015 Challenge of the Americas (COTA), presented by Deloitte, brought elite dressage athletes and show jumpers to the International Polo Club (IPC) Palm Beach on Friday evening to showcase their skill, entertain the crowd, and do their part to raise money for breast cancer research. Team Purina earned a hard-...

Para Dressage

Friday, January 16, 2015 - 06:20
Written By: Lindsay Y. McCall
Kjell Myhre talks to riders at the 2015 USEF High Performance Southeast Para Equestrian Dressage Symposium in Wellington, FL, January 12-13. (Photo: (C) Lindsay Y. McCall) Wellington, FL - Following the 2015 Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* select U.S. Para-Dressage athletes and coaches had an opportunity to attend the USEF High Performance Southeast Para-Equestrian Dressage Symposium. This symposium took place January 12-13, 2014, at the Global Dressage Festival show grounds in Wellington, Florida. Over two days U.S. High Performance and developing Para-Dressage coaches and riders were immersed in the international equestrian discipline of Para-Dressage. Topics included Para-Dressage theory, scales of training, para-dressage test riding, quality of horse, freestyles, preparation...
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - 05:46
Written By: Lindsay Y. McCall
USA Team (Left to right): Sydney Collier, Annie Peavy, Rebecca Hart, U.S. Chef D' Equipe Kai Handt, and Roxanne Trunnell (Photo: (C) Lindsay Y. McCall) Wellington, FL - Thirteen Para-Dressage horse and rider combinations made their way to Wellington, Florida, this January for the first CPEDI3* of the 2015 show season. Para-Equestrians from Canada and the United States in Grades Ia, Ib, II, III, and IV, competed at the spectacular Global Dressage venue in the Van Kampen Arena. FEI Ground Jury members Mr. Freddy Leyman (BEL), Mr. Kjell Myhre (NOR), and Ms. Kristi Wysocki (USA) were on hand to offer their expertise for each Para-Dressage duo. This CPEDI3* is one of the qualifiers for the 2015 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships, 2016 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National C...
Monday, January 12, 2015 - 10:29
Robyn Andrews and Fancianna (Photo: SusanJStickle.com) Ottawa, ON. - On the final day of competition at CPEDI3* Global Dressage Festival I presented by Adequan, Robyn Andrews won her test for the second day in a row for Canada. The competition was held at The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Fla., Jan. 9-11, 2015. Andrews of St. Johns, N.L. secured the victory in the Grade Ia Freestyle test riding her 2014 World Equestrian Games mare 14-year-old Fancianna, a Friesian-Andalusian cross, to a score of 67.917%. "I was pleased with Fancy today," said Andrews. "I was a bit tired, but we pulled it off. Many thanks must go to the Global Dressage Festival for putting on a great show. Special thanks to my coach, Amanda Kalvoda; chef d'équipe, Elizabeth Quigg; Pa...
Friday, January 9, 2015 - 06:31
Written By: Lindsay Y. McCall
U.S. Chef D' Equipe Kai Handt jogs Rubicon 75, ridden by Mary Jordan, owned by Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center (Photo (c) Lindsay Y. McCall) Wellington, FL - Para-Equestrian Dressage athletes from around the North American continent have landed in Wellington, Florida, for the 2015 Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3*. This is the first CPEDI3* event for the 2015 calendar year. Thirteen horse and rider combinations presented their mounts in front of FEI Ground Jury members Mr. Freddy Leyman (BEL), Mr. Kjell Myhre (NOR), and Ms. Kristi Wysocki (USA). Para-Equestrians from Canada and the United States will compete January 9-11, in The Van Kampen covered arena at the Global Dressage Festival. Friday, January 9, is the FEI Para-Equestrian Dressage Team Test, followed by Saturday's FE...
Thursday, January 8, 2015 - 08:52
Kai Handt and Wes Dunham showcase collaborative coaching at the Northeast Symposium in 2013. Rider Sydney Collier aboard her own Wentworth works on gaits. (Photo (C) Lindsay Y. McCall) Wellington, FL - The United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. (USEF), is excited to announce a two-day Para Equestrian Dressage Symposium to be held at Global Dressage, Wellington, Florida, January 12 & 13, 2015, 8 AM-4 PM. Select U.S. High Performance and developing Para- Equestrian Dressage riders and coaches will be attending the symposium. Auditors are welcome to attend for $75. Pre-registering as an auditor is not required. Please contact Laureen Johnson at USEF at lkjohnson@usef.org if you are interested in audit...
Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - 06:00
Written By: Lindsay Y. McCall
Nora Grassmyer, Mibis, Barbara Grassmyer, and Bob Grassmyer. (Photo: (c) Lindsay Y. McCall) El Dorado Hills, CA - On December 19, 2014, the Dressage Community lost friend, volunteer, and parent Nora Grassmyer after a three year battle with bladder cancer. Nora was heavily involved with the Dressage and Para-Dressage disciplines both internationally and at the national level. She was also a longtime volunteer at the California Dressage shows managed by Connie Davenport. Nora was a driving force behind her daughter and Paralympian Barbara Grassmyer. She was there at every moment for Barbara including when Barbara served as an alternate for the U.S. Paralympic Team in 2000, competing in Sydney, Australia; in 2001 and 2002 when Barbara was the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Champion;...
Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 07:30
Rebecca Hart and Schroeters Romani rode to the high score of 78.382% during the Polar Express Show at White Fences. Wellington, FL - Rebecca Hart and Schroeters Romani shined Saturday afternoon during the Polar Express show held at the White Fences Equestrian Center in Loxahatchee, Florida. The talented duo rode to the score of 78.382 percent for the FEI Para Team Grade II test during the national show, kick starting their season as they prepare for the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in CPEDI3* in January 2015.Hart traveled to Florida in early December to work with Wellington-based international dressage trainer Todd Flettrich out of Cherry Knoll Farm, which is also a partial owner of Romani. Hart and Flettrich have worked consistently on warm-up and preparation with Romani after takin...
Sunday, December 14, 2014 - 18:41
Sydney Collier riding Willi Wesley (Photo: SusanjStickle.com) Lexington, Ky. - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce Sydney Collier as the 2014 Junior Equestrian of the Year. Seventeen-year-old Collier is a talented Para-Equestrian who competed at the international level in 2014, including the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., she was diagnosed at the age of seven with a rare congenital birth defect called Wyburn-Mason Syndrome. In spite of this challenge, Collier pursued her love of riding and has become a top equestrian athlete. A prime example of courage, sportsmanship, and dedication, Collier will be awarded the Ruth O'Keefe Meredith Memorial Trophy as the 2014 Junior Equestrian of the Year. Having her biggest year to da...
Sunday, November 30, 2014 - 07:53
Trainer Wes Dunham and WEG athletes Sydney Collier's mount Willi Wesley at the 2014 Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* horse inspection . (Photo: Lindsay McCall) Wellington, Florida - November 26, 2014 - Entries are now being accepted at www.equestrianentries.com through December 22, 2014, for the 2015 Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3*. Para-Equestrian Dressage athletes kick-off the show season with their their first international show of the year January 7-11, 2015, in Wellington, FL, in the Van Kampen covered arena. This show will include FEI Para-Equestrian Dressage athletes in Grades Ia, Ib, II, III, and IV. Thursday, January 8, is the Horse inspection at approximately 5:30 PM. Friday, January 9, is the FEI Para-Equestrian Dressage Team Test, followed by Saturday's FEI P...
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 07:18
  We salute our veterans this Veterans Day. Thank you for protecting our freedoms. On this day we ask you to take a moment to think about those that have served our country. We would like to salute our disabled veterans who are part of not only the equestrian sport but all Paralympic sports. Thank you, - USPEA. We too, at DressageDaily, would like to take a moment to thank all veterans who have served our country to protect our liberties and rights. We truly appreciate all past and current members of our military for all that you do! History of Veterans Day - From the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: World War I - known at the time as "The Great War" - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versaille...
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