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, April 26, 2015 - 08:14
“Premier Equestrian” Adreinne Lyle (center) with Mark Neihart (left), CEO of Premier Equestrian, and Heidi Zorn (right), President of Premier Equestrian, at Premier’s booth at the 2015 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage and Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Finals Las Vegas, Nevada – From the red carpet to centerline, “Premier Equestrians” were in top form as Las Vegas welcomed the finest dressage and jumping riders in the world for the 2015 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage and Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada. Premier Equestrian, which provided the world-class dressage arenas and flower boxes for the prestigious event, also rolled out a red carpet for visitors and competitors with its own exceptional cast of welcoming stars, known as “Premier Equestrians.” The lineu...
Saturday, April 25, 2015 - 09:56
Custom Saddlery rider Steffen Peters (center) took photos with his fans, including Custom Saddlery saddlefitters Sarah Boothe (left) and Hillary Boothe (right), at the USEF booth at the 2015 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage and Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Finals Las Vegas, Nevada - A highlight of the World Cup for Custom Saddlery was the “Selfies with Steffen” event that Custom sponsored at the USEF booth on Thursday, April 16 - directly after Steffen Peters’s amazing third place finish in the Grand Prix aboard Legolas 92 with a 76.843 percent. Hundreds of enthusiastic show attendees lined up to snap a photo with the Olympic athlete, who is sponsored by Custom Saddlery and calls Custom saddles “simply the best dressage saddles on the market.” Peters also signed Custom Saddlery visors...
Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 12:30
Written By: Mary Phelps
Edward Gal and Glock's Undercover Photo: © Mary Phelps "This is where dressage becomes art," is what Axel Steiner, retired O judges and official commentator for the 2015 Reem Acra/FEI World Cup Final, Las Vegas, while watching Edward Gal (NED) and Glock's Undercover N.O.P. The sensitive 14-year old KWPN gelding by Ferro out of a Donnerhall mare and owned by Ghpc Holding Bv. Masterfully ridden by Gal, finishing second place to the unbeatable Valegro and Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle with a stunning result of 84.696. Former World and FEI World Cup Champion Edward Gal of The Netherlands made his third trip to Las Vegas to compete in his ninth FEI World Cup Final. Gal and Glock’s Undercover, won team Bronze medals at both the 2014 World Equestrian Games and the 201...
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - 22:00
Written By: Mary Phelps
View the image gallery of the greatest dressage horse of all time, Valegro and his pilot, Charlotte Dujardin.Photo: © Mary Phelps DressageDaily's Mary Phelps was on the scene at the Reem/Acra FEI Dressage World Cup Final 2015, Las Vegas. Over the next two weeks we will be sharing image galleries of all participants, starting with Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain and the iconic horse, Valegro. Valegro, the 13 year old KWPN gelding by Negro/Gerschwin is owned by Carl Hester, Mrs. Roly Luard, and Mrs. A Bar. It was impossible to take a bad photo, and difficult to choose what to publish so here are 60+ images to enjoy! Charlotte and Valegro are the undisputed greatest dressage combination of all time. As the reigning Olympic, World, European and FEI World Cup champions, Dujardin and the p...
Monday, April 20, 2015 - 07:19
Written By: Kelly Sanchez
Viva Las Vegas! Elvis (Guenter Seidel) and one of his "showgirls" Elizabeth Ball (Photo: © Mary Phelps) If he ever decides to forego dressage, Guenter Seidel might have a career in show business. Dressed as Elvis, the three-time Olympian brought down the house in a “Viva Las Vegas” quadrille featuring his three “showgirls”: Elizabeth Ball, Michelle Reilly and Sarah Christy at the 2015 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final Dressage Showcase. California-based fashion and costume designer Melanie Sommer worked for two months to put together the elaborate fire-engine red costumes, which had tall feathered headdresses, bustiers and red sequined boots. The midday showcase kicked off with an Intermediare I Freestyle featuring Sabine Schut-Kery riding Alice Womble-Heitmann’s expressive Hanoveri...
Sunday, April 19, 2015 - 08:11
Written By: Louise Parkes
Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin holds the new Reem Acra trophy aloft after making it a back-to-back double of victories with the amazing Valegro at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2015 Final (FEI/Dirk Caremans) The sensational British duo, Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, secured their second consecutive title when winning the Freestyle at the Reeem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2015 Final at the Thomas...
Saturday, April 18, 2015 - 17:42
Written By: Astrid Appels - Eurodressage.com
The 2015 World Cup Finals' podium: Edward Gal, Charlotte Dujardin, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl There was no surprise and no challenge for Charlotte Dujardin to reclaim her world cup title as she cruised to victory in the Kur to Music at the 2015 World Cup Finals in Las Vegas on Saturday 18 April 2015. After earning her first World Cup title in 2014 in Lyon, Dujardin extended the honour this year and shared the World Cup podium with Dutch Edward Gal and German Jessica von Bredow-Werndl. Charlotte Dujardin put in an immaculate ride to her much beloved music based on the Disney animated movie How to Train Your Dragon. Valegro is a very lightfooted mover despite being a musled athlete. Read the full story on Eurodressage.com!
Saturday, April 18, 2015 - 09:06
Wizard in his offical retirement with rider Adrienne Lyle (Photo:(c) McCool Photography) Dressage was the main attraction at the Thomas...
Friday, April 17, 2015 - 11:17
Written By: Kelly Sanchez
Charlotte Dujardin and Valergro, Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final 2015 Photo: © Mary Phelps On a day that saw many of the world’s top horses and riders go head to head at the 2015 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final, defending champions Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro (Negro x Gerschwin) shrugged off the pressure that comes with being the world’s number one combination and did what everyone expected them to do. They handily won the Grand Prix, with the 13-year-old Dutch gelding showing little evidence of the jet lag that had affected him after his arrival in Las Vegas. Their score of 85.414 percent was a few points shy of their world record-setting score of 87.460, but Dujardin was pleased nevertheless. “It’s just a mass of excitement for me to come here and take part,” she said....
Friday, April 17, 2015 - 08:58
Written By: Louise Parkes
Defending champions, Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, lived up to expectations winning the Grand Prix on the opening day of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final (FEI/Dirk Caremans) Defending champions, Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, lived up to expectations when winning the Grand Prix on the opening day of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2014/2015 Final at the Thomas...

Eventing

Saturday, July 4, 2015 - 09:22
FEI Communications
Lausanne - Michael Jung (GER) is back as world Eventing number one after his brilliant third-place finish with La Biosthetique Sam FBW at last month’s Luhmühlen CCI4* (GER) presented by DHL, fifth leg of the FEI Classics™. Jung (32) jumped to the top of the FEI World Eventing Rankings in May for the first time in his career, breaking the one-year...
Monday, June 29, 2015 - 17:20
Parker, CO - The Colorado Horse Park (CHP) and Colorado Equestrian Partners are pleased to host the United States Eventing Association's CCI1*/CIC2*, Training 3-Day and Horse Trials coming up August 13-16, 2015. The opening date for entries is this coming Tuesday, June 30. Classes offered include: CCI1*, CIC2*, Training and Novice 3-Day, Area IX...
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 16:50
Classic Communications
The Plains, Virginia- Despite a night of rain and thunderstorms, the final day of the Land Rover Great Meadow International presented by Adequan® went off without a hitch. With a top finish in Sunday's cross country phase after earning the leading Dressage and Show Jumping scores, Jennie Brannigan rode Cambalda victory in the CIC3*. Lauren...
Monday, June 22, 2015 - 09:53
Kate Green, FEI Communications
Ingrid Klimke (GER) rode brilliantly to produce a clear round under huge pressure to win her home CCI4* at Luhmühlen (GER), presented by DHL, for the first time and set up an unassailable lead in the FEI Classics™ 2014/2015. In a thrilling finale, her flawless round on the spring-heeled 11-year-old Hannoverian mare FRH Escada JS denied New...
Sunday, June 21, 2015 - 11:34
FEI Communications
Ingrid Klimke (GER) is on course to win her second CCI4* of the FEI Classics™ 2014/2015 after a breathtakingly bold Cross Country round on FRH Escada JS at Luhmühlen (GER), presented by DHL. “Escada was super fit and she jumps so big that she goes over the top of the hedges,” said a delighted Klimke, who remains on her Dressage score of 32.7. “...
Sunday, June 21, 2015 - 09:58
Classic Communications
The Plains, Virginia - Lauren Kieffer and Jennie Brannigan lead their respective divisions after the Show Jumping phase of the Land Rover Great Meadow International presented by Adequan®. Kieffer took the lead after riding clean on Meadowbrooks Scarlett for a two-phase score of 43.3 in the final preparation trial for the Land Rover U.S. Eventing...
Friday, June 19, 2015 - 11:06
Classic Communications
The Plains, Virginia - The Land Rover Great Meadow International presented by Adequan® is set to get underway on Friday, featuring the Land Rover U.S. Eventing team in its final preparation trial prior to this summer's Pan American Games. A $30,000 CIC3* will also be featured. The starting field in the international event that also includes...

Reining and Western Riding

Saturday, July 4, 2015 - 09:40
Simona Diale
Oklahoma City, Okla. – The 2015 NRHA European Affiliate Championship (EAC 2015) will take place for the second time in a row at le Petit Far West, in Le Pin, near Paris, this coming Tuesday, July 7 through Saturday, July 11. Nearly 180 horses and more than 140 riders are entered to compete with all entries coming from France, Belgium, Netherlands...
Friday, July 3, 2015 - 10:53
Oklahoma City, Okla.- The 2015 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby not only saw successful sires compete in Oklahoma City last week who also participate in the legendary NRHA Sire...
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 15:20
USEF Communications Department
Oklahoma City, Okla. - Rising stars in reining came to the 2015 USEF Youth Reining National Championships on Saturday, June 27 with the goal of claiming a national title. Held in conjunction with the NRHA Derby at the State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, Okla., Emmy-Lu Marsh earned the USEF 14-18 Youth Reining National title and James Belden, Jr....
Monday, June 29, 2015 - 09:41
Oklahoma City, Okla. - The 2015 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby held an electric Non Pro finals today, including live commentary for the audience at home of the $183,000* est. Non Pro added money (added money is subject to change based on nominations). Probably the best story from the exciting evening of competition was that the...
Sunday, June 28, 2015 - 08:16
Oklahoma City, Okla. – The NRHyA Art...
Sunday, June 28, 2015 - 07:45
Wellington, Colorado- There were a total of 4,608 excited and energized teams of Ranch Sorting competition at this year's RSNC World Finals. It was held June 8th through 13th in Fort Worth, Texas at the Will Rogers Memorial Center Complex. This was the third year for the Finals of the Ranch Sorting National Championships at this prestigious...
Sunday, June 21, 2015 - 10:03
The deadline of the 2015 AustrianRHA Futurity...

Driving

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 14:45
Mary Phelps
Here is the first photo tour of our summer dog and pony show was off, on a tour that would cover 5 states in three weeks full of fun, competition, training, exploration, visits with friends and family. We loaded up three ponies, 2 carriages, 3 dogs, and 3 humans. We set off from our home base farm in south central Kentucky, on a relatively short...
Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 13:11
Mary Phelps
Kentucky is the place to be in October for the sport of Combined Driving as well as other related driving activities, and now there is one more event added to the roster. Two time Pony Driving World Champion, Bram Chardon (NED) will be coming to The Gayla Driving Center, October 9, 10, and 11, for a mega clinic and symposium covering all three...
Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 12:31
At the 2015 American Horse Publications Awards Banquet many outstanding equine publications were recognized for various achievements throughout the year. Driving DigestMagazine walked away from the banquet with two awards. Competing against publications such Equus, Western Horseman, and American Quarter Horse Journal, the magazine owned and...
Monday, June 22, 2015 - 14:17
Alexandra Hill Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
Bromont, Quebec - American driver James Fairclough is still leading the FEI2* Horse Four-In-Hand Division after the marathon phase at the Bromont International Driving, held June 19 to 21, 2015. After the dressage phase on Friday, James Fairclough was in first place with a total of 55.21 penalty points, ahead of Kentucky's Misdee Wrigley-Miller,...
Sunday, June 21, 2015 - 11:47
Alexandra Hill Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
Bromont, Quebec - The Bromont International Driving launched its 14th edition yesterday at the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park where all teams competed in the first leg of the event, the dressage phase. In the FEI2* Four-In-Hand Division, driver James Fairclough (NJ) is in first place after the dressage phase with a total of 55.21 penalty points...
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 14:45
Create a Great Halt - June 18th-If you were in on the “Building a Half-Halt” and “Transitions” classes, this is a great followup class! It’s easy to overlook the importance of the humble halt, but if you understand how much this move effects the rest of your work, you’ll really appreciate this class. We’ll go into to detail about how to get your...
Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 14:11
London, England- It was a royal redux at England's Royal Windsor CAI3* as HRH Queen Elizabeth again congratulated Chester Weber, of Ocala, Florida, on his second consecutive victory in the four-in-hand division. The 11-time USEF National Champion and three-time World Equestrian Games Silver medalist returned to the 2015 Royal Windsor Horse Show...

Show Jumping

Sunday, July 5, 2015 - 11:05
Cat Allen for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Parker, CO- The Coors Family Grand Prix ring at The Colorado Horse Park (CHP) saw eight competitors take on the course set for the $1,000 Six/Seven-Year-Old Young Jumper Championship with four to jump-off. Christian Heineking, piloting Vex Sporthorse LTD's Vex Cassandra, claimed victory with a double-clear round and the fastest jump-off time of...
Sunday, July 5, 2015 - 09:54
Cat Allen for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Parker, CO - The Colorado Horse Park (CHP) continued its Summer in the Rockies series with highlights in the Coors Family Grand Prix Ring on Friday, including the Adequan® 1.40-1.45m Open Jumper class and the $1,000 Six/Seven-Year-Old Young Jumper Championship. The week's competition continues through Sunday, July 5. The ring saw an early start...
Sunday, July 5, 2015 - 08:00
Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Calgary, AB, Canada –A total of 76 entries jumped the first round of the $34,000 Pepsi Challenge 1.45m at Spruce Meadows, with 19 qualifying for the jump-off and 17 continuing on. The short course saw only five double clear rounds in a very fast race against the clock that put Mario Deslauriers (USA) in the winner’s circle. Eduardo Menezes (BRA)...
Sunday, July 5, 2015 - 07:27
Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Calgary, AB, Canada – The ‘North American’ Tournament at Spruce Meadows continued on Friday with two feature competitions hosted in the International Ring and a win for USA’s Kent Farrington and RCG Farm’s Uceko in the highlight $50,000 Lafarge Cup 1.50m. The competition saw 33 entries, with seven in the jump-off and three double clear rounds....
Saturday, July 4, 2015 - 09:33
Classic Communications
Lake Placid, New York - Devin Ryan of Long Valley, NJ rode Cooper to victory in the $30,000 CMJ Sporthorse Jumper Classic Friday at the 46th annual Lake Placid Horse Shows, Presented by Sea Shore Stables, LLC. Ryan was one of 11 entries from the field of 28 starters to advance to the jump-off by riding without penalty over the 15-jump first-round...
Friday, July 3, 2015 - 15:57
Parker, CO - The Colorado Horse Park (CHP) saw another sunny day of competition in its manicured rings overlooking the iconic Rocky Mountains on Thursday. Continuing competition for Summer in the Rockies IV, the $20,000 Colorado Horse Park Open Welcome Stake saw 29 entries contest a complex course designed by Marina Azevedo. The time allowed for...
Friday, July 3, 2015 - 14:56
Mill Spring, NC - The second day of FEI competition continued at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) with the $34,00 Suncast® 1.45m FEI Welcome. Venezuela's Angel Karolyi collected a big win aboard 2002 Dutch Warmblood mare, Venus, owned by Raylyn Farms. The duo bested a six-horse jump-off, tripping the timers in 40.341 seconds to secure...

Para Dressage

Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - 11:40
  Lexington, Ky. - With a little under two months before the Opening Ceremonies at the 2015 Adequan/FEI North American Junior...
Monday, May 18, 2015 - 04:43
Written By: Lindsay McCall for the USPEA
U.S. Chef d’ Equipe Kai Handt at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games with rider Roxie Trunnell and horse Touche. The United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. (USEF) is pleased to present a 2 ½ day Para Equestrian Dressage Symposium at the Golden State Dressage CPEDI3*, Rancho Murieta, California on June 14-16, 2015, 8AM-5PM. Designed as a "Develop the Coach" format, select U.S. High Performance and developing Para Equestrian Dressage riders and coaches will benefit from lectures and ride feedback by 5* FEI Para Equestrian Dressage Judge Carlos Lopes, supported by USEF Para Equestrian Dressage Chef d'Equipe Kai Handt. Topics include Para-Dressage theory, scales of training, quality of horse, freestyles, and preparation for international competition. Demonstrations on para-dressag...
Sunday, May 10, 2015 - 05:48
Written By: Lindsay McCall for the USPEA
Sydney Collier Victoria Dugan's Willi Wesley at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. (Photo: SusanJStickle.com) Allentown, NJ - The 13th Annual 2015 Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event, presented by B.W. Furlong...
Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 10:24
Written By: Lindsay Y. McCall
U.S. Chef d' Equipe Kai Handt works with Paralympic Dressage Trainer Wes Dunham. (Photo: Lindsay Y. McCall) Lyman, ME - Carlisle Academy in Lyman, Maine, a Premier Accredited PATH Center and national leader in grassroots development for para-equestrian sports, is coordinating a Para-Equestrian Pipeline Training Camp May 26-30, 2015. Expert international para-equestrian clinicians, seasoned medalists, therapists, and coaches with their riders will congregate for training and education in this growing sport. The primary focus will be on para-dressage but demonstrations and information will be available for emerging para-equestrian disciplines such as para-driving and para-reining. The United States Equestrian Federation and United States Para-Equestrian Association are in support of these...
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;...
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