Mary Phelps and Tracey Scharf Visit Markel

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Written by Mary Phelps-Hathaway

Prior to leaving on her 2003 Euro-Tour, Mary Phelps flew to Richmond, VA, together with her personal assistent Tracey Scharf for a two-day training seminar at the Markel Headquarters. Mary documented this trip and tells her story:
"Since announcing our move to Markel Insurance Corporation in April, we have hit the ground running, having one of the most successful months ever in equine insurance premiums, in our very first month working for the company. I have been to the Richmond Virginia Headquarters a few times, but Tracey Scharf, our office (and life) manager, joined me on our latest trip, where we spent 2 full days training and working with the management team responsible for our success.

This was a particularly special occasion for Tracey, as her 3 year old son was recently diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, throwing her life into a whirlwind of doctors, medications, and a frantic search for a day care who would take him. With Hayden in the capable hands of Tracey’s Mom, she had the chance to get away for a couple of days getting the first full nights’ sleep in her own comfortable hotel room provided by Markel."

Our immediate success has been a team effort, here at our home base in Florida, and with the support network at Markel Headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. In the past two months we have accomplished an amazing amount of work, and it has been fun doing so. That is because the “Markel Style” is about “hard work and a zealous pursuit of excellence while keeping a sense of humor. I have always been a pretty independent type, marching to my own drummer, shunning corporate commitments. However, accepting this position with Markel has given me a true sense of what a corporation done right, can achieve. There is a feeling of camaraderie, and family at Markel. One senses this atmosphere immediately when entering the building. Markel is the only equine insurance company which has been around for 40 years.

Getting Down to Business
We met the folks in charge of Horse Mortality, and Farm Owner and Liability, housed on the 4th floor of one of 4 buildings owned by Markel and its associate companies. The marketing department, headed up by Linda Crook-Lee, whose twin and younger sister as well as a cousin and her mother all have worked for the company a collective 50 years.

Reviewing Equine Mortality and Medical/Surgical Coverages
Kelly "Do it with a smile" at MarkelDawn Denzler-Trace is the Mortality Operations Manager, who oversees the Mortality Team consisting of 9 mortality underwriters. (Dawn has been with Markel for 18 years!) Monday morning we reviewed mortality coverages. Linda Crooks and Dawn were joined by Mary Ann Kean, Director of Mortality Underwriting. Also present was Kellie Chambers, our assigned liaison at Markel for managing our clients. Mary Ann Kean has been in love with horses her entire life. As Director of Mortality Underwriting she has been employed by Markel for 15 years. With her Virginia roots in the hunter jumper and foxhunting world, she is also has been a licensed steward for USAE for 10 years. In addition, her presence at many of the major APHA, NRHA and AQHA functions is in support of Markel's successful involvement as the official insurance company of each of these associations.

The latest technologies are constantly being addressed and updated, with the support to make it work. With the assistance of the team at Markel, we now provide easy access to all applications, as well as an informative insurance tour on HorsesDaily.com, which explains mortality coverage, and allows us to respond with a personal quote in a timely manner. We will soon be able to bind coverage on-line through HorsesDaily.com, and continue to be able to facilitate the application process for our clients by having all applications in a PDF file, easily attached to an e-mail. As we got to meet many of the fine people in this department, we were welcomed with friendly smiles. Office cubicles are spacious and comfortable, and an array of photos, of family, horses and friends decorates each space. With everyone we meet, there is instant recognition. Rudy Mitchell, who works with the Mortality Team inputting new business, recognized me right away, before we were even introduced. I asked how he knew me and he replied “I’ve been seeing your name all day long on paperwork, keep it coming!”

As an agent who is on the road and on the scene, covering over 30 events in both the United States as a photographer and journalist, the support we get at Markel is the strategy that makes the Markel Equine Insurance Specialist program work. With Tracey managing our home office in Florida, and our corporate team in Virgina, there is always a a real person behind every aspect of taking care of our clients.

Markel Equine Insurance Specialist Training
John Seger, Director of Agent Development, put together a “Grass Roots Strategy” over a year ago, selecting and nurturing a small but dedicated and involved group of Insurance Agents active in the sport horse community. As a former Vice President of American Bankers Insurance Group who moved on prior to the company’s withdrawal from the equine mortality marketplace, Seger understands the need for knowledgeable agents in the equine world who are out at the shows, working, showing, volunteering and getting involved.

Markel has supported this strategy both in spirit and financially. It is not easy to get a property and casualty license, and it requires continuing education courses to keep it. It’s a good thing though, and it’s important to keep learning. What better way to continue to learn your job, than to work with smart, happy fun and sincere people. I have been a licensed agent for 15 years, and have learned more about the equine mortality and liability business in the last two months, than in all the time I have been in this business, those grueling continuing education courses included!

Farm Owner and Liability
While Tracey went on the tour of the company meeting many of the people we work with, I sat down with Chris Heavrin Markel’s Property and Casualty Underwriter, and Vice President Don Faison, to review the somewhat complex process of filling out Farm Owner and Liability applications. For those who choose a career in the equestrian world, liability is a part of the cost of doing business. Insurance is really risk management, and there are serious risks and consequences. A trained equine insurance agent not only helps you to protect your interests, but when it’s done right it is the best form of cost effective risk management you can find.

As an employee for the company, I work with the full support of this department behind me, making sure applications and coverages are thoroughly addressed. Once again, having the experience within the industry is critical to properly servicing one’s clients. Liability can be a complex issue, and coverages can be compromised if not fully disclosed and examined. What is critical is that should there be a claim, which in liability often means dealing with a lawsuit; the client has access to the finest legal protection and defense they can get, in a timely manner.

Tracey’s Birthday Surprise
In the mortality department at Markel, employees pull a name out of a hat, and are then responsible for the birthday celebration of whomever it is they get. Linda Crooks assigned herself to Tracey who’s birthday was the day following our visit. While Tracey was working the phones with Kellie, a huge ice cream cake arrived in the conference room, and about 40 employees gathered to surprise her, sing Happy Birthday, and share some cake.

What a great way to meet even more people who are part of the team behind our efforts. We are already making plans to come to Richmond for the company Christmas party, and look forward to a visit at our home office in Florida from some of the key people working with us. While we focused on two full days of a full agenda, we had fun working together and accomplished all we set out to get done.

Thank You to Our New Corporate Family
As Tracey and I headed back to the airport to return to Florida, it was with a deeper knowledge and understanding as a part of our new “family” at Markel, we were already looking forward to our next meeting. We worked hard, but we had fun, also an important part of the Markel style. We want to take this opportunity to thank all of those who made us feel so welcome, and so much a part of the team for the time and energy they continue to provide.

We are in touch daily, through the magic of the internet, but to visit our corporate headquarters, have deepened our role and commitment to the success of the opportunity we have before us. It is an honor to be a part the only company which has provided an uninterrupted protection for horses and horse related risks in the United States as well as internationally for 40 years, and we are dedicated to living up to that honor.

The Markel Style
Many companies have a mission statement, some have a vision or creed. We live the "Markel Style". Authored by our Chairman, Alan Kirshner, through the years the Markel Style has served to provide a constant rudder to employees and management alike. Markel has a Commitment to Success. We believe in hard work and a zealous pursuit of excellence while keeping a sense of humor. Our creed is honesty and fairness in all our dealings.

The Markel way is to seek to be a market leader in each of our pursuits. We seek to know our customers' needs and to provide our customers with quality products and service. Our pledge to our shareholders is that we will build the financial value of our company. We respect our relationship with our suppliers and have a commitment to our communities.

We are encouraged to look for a better way to do things…to challenge management. We have the ability to make decisions or alter a course quickly. The Markel approach is one of spontaneity and flexibility. This requires a respect for authority but a disdain of bureaucracy.

At Markel we hold the individual's right to self-determination in the highest light, providing an atmosphere in which people can reach their personal potential. Being results-oriented, we are willing to put aside individual concerns in the spirit of teamwork to achieve success.

Above all, we enjoy what we are doing. There is excitement at Markel, one that comes from innovating, creating, striving for a better way, sharing success with others…winning.

Visit the Insurance Section for more information, allpications, and to take our Equine Insurance Tour

 

Insurance Coverages

  Markel has specially designed an affordable Farrier’s Insurance Program just for you. Rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best, Markel has provided insurance coverage for horses and horse related risks for over 50 years. As an Equine Insurance Specialist for Markel, we are available at the Mary Phelps Markel Agency (800-572-3286) insurance @...
 
"Mary Phelps and Markel have insured my horses, including my beloved Manhatten. Mary was there when I bought him in Holland as a 4-year-old and has been with us thoroughout our entire career. We also carry all our liability coverage, and recommend Mary and Markel to all our clients." Jodie Kelly Dressage, Destin, Florida For a horse owner, the...
 
  Markel is the innovator of horse farm insurance. Ever since Markel brought our first package to market about 50 years ago, we’ve enhanced our products and services to meet your changing needs. Markel offers you more than superlative protection; you can depend on an unmatched record of experience, expertise and commitment that have made us the...
 
Imagine if my ponies got loose? Yikes, damage to vehicles, injuries to spectators, even if one should bite the finger of a child trying to pat them. Your horse may be one of your most important possessions, but it can also be your biggest liability. Individual horse owners place themselves and their assets at risk every time their horse comes...
 
When your business is the target of a lawsuit, money isn’t the only thing that’s at stake. Your reputation is on the line, too. Markel insurance professionals have years of experience handling equine liability claims. They’ll ensure that a claim against you is resolved fairly, with consideration for all parties involved. Equine liability...
 
Medical Surgical options are available when purchasing a mortality policy on the actual cash value of your horse. There are several options and limits to choose from. This coverage is provided for clients as a means to help with the costly expenses of medical surgical treatments due to accident, sickness or injury. Emergency Colic Surgery...
 
Special Discount for member of the American Association of Professional Farriers Mary Phelps - Markel Equine, Farm, Ranch and Liability Specialist 800-572-3286, insurance@horsesdaily.comMarkel has specially designed an...
 
Air TransitCoverage is available for horses up to 30 days while awaiting transit/air transit to the USA and to extend Mortality coverage to include new territorial limits. Full details of the facility and information on who has care, custody and control are required. Contact our office for more information.Limited Permanent Disability (Loss of...
 
Markel is the innovator of horse farm insurance. Ever since Markel brought our first package to market about 50 years ago, we’ve enhanced our products and services to meet your changing needs. Markel offers you more than superlative protection; you can depend on an unmatched record of experience, expertise and commitment that have made us the...
 
"Mary Phelps and Markel have insured my horses, including my beloved Manhatten. Mary was there when I bought him in Holland as a 4-year-old and has been with us thoroughout our entire career. We also carry all our liability coverage, and recommend Mary and Markel to all our clients." Jodie Kelly Dressage, Destin, Florida For a horse owner, the...
 

What Markel Clients Say

I have had my horses insured with Mary Phelps/Markel for years. As an Amateur competing up to Grand Prix, at the same time as having a professional career, the personal service provided by her office, availability and superior support from Markel, have provided me with peace of mind.
 
I have had my horses insured with Mary Phelps/Markel for years. As an Amateur competing up to Grand Prix, at the same time as having a professional career, the personal service provided by her office, availability and superior support from Markel, have provided me with peace of mind.
 
It was easy and helpful working with my long time friend Mary and her assistant Tracey when I got my equine liability coverage with Markel.
 
It was easy and helpful working with my long time friend Mary and her assistant Tracey when I got my equine liability coverage with Markel.
 
Mary Phelps and Markel have insured Wadamur throughout his career. It's always a comforting feeling to do business with an agent and a company who understands and knows so well the nature of our business and the unique challenges of owning and competing top level dressage horses...
 
Mary Phelps and Markel have insured Wadamur throughout his career. It's always a comforting feeling to do business with an agent and a company who understands and knows so well the nature of our business and the unique challenges of owning and competing top level dressage horses...
 

What You Need To Know

  In between your property and an outlying roadway is a fence that supposedly confines your horse. Even if the fence is electrified, would you still consider this a 100% guarantee that your horse or passersby will always be protected? Or put another way, would you think that every time a car drives past your place, you could be on the receiving...
 
  More and more horse buyers are purchasing horses from other countries or after finding their perfect horse in the states, they are shipping the horse over-seas for training and showing. When traveling outside the US or Canada to look for your perfect horse, you should contact your Insurance agent prior to departing. Although some countries...
 
  I get this question all of the time… “ I just purchased a horse and got a really good deal. Can I insure him for more than I paid for him? He is worth a lot more.” The price agreed to by a willing seller and a willing buyer establishes the horse’s market value at the time of purchase. In most cases Markel will not agree to insure your horse...
 
  In spite of increasing numbers of year round residents, the majority of the winter residents are in the moving mode, packing, shipping, stressing. I used to keep a certain frame of mind when doing the north/south routine before becoming a year round resident. Think of it this way, for most of you, in less than 24 hours, once you leave, you...
 

World Equestrian Games 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 13:23
FEI Communications
Italy’s Sara Morganti has been voted the International Paralympic Committee’s best female Allianz Athlete of the Month for August following her incredible performance at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA).
 
The Tuscany-born Para-Equestrian Dressage rider scored an outstanding Freestyle Grade 1a gold medal...
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 11:36
Grand prix show jumper Danielle Goldstein has represented Israel in major international competitions in 2014, from Spruce Meadows and Thunderbird Horsepark in Canada to the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France.  Upon returning to the United States, the dual US and Israeli citizen has been invited to compete in the Central Park Horse Show,...
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 12:20
Alltech Media
[CAEN, France] – After a successful 15 days of competition and celebration, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy have come to a close this evening with a farewell ceremony in the Michel d’Ornano Stadium in Caen. A cast of close to 2,000 of the world’s best equine and human athletes, more than 570,000 on-site spectators and 3,...
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 11:18
Diana DeRosa
Where to begin. I’m on the journey home with memories of Beezie Madden claiming the Individual Bronze Medal and Cortes C claiming the Best Horse title in the Final Four phase of Show Jumping at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy. Chester Weber did us proud as well claiming an Individual Silver in Driving and his team was...
Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 21:54
FEI Press Release
FEI President HRH Princess Haya officially closed the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy at the D’Ornano Stadium this evening, bringing to an end two weeks of incredible sport.  The final medals of the Games were presented by IOC Member, Tsunekazu Takeda, Vice-President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and Member of the...
Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 21:47
Louise Parkes
 made it double-gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy today when adding the individual title to last Thursday’s team victory for The Netherlands. He made his way into this afternoon’s top-four Jumping final thanks to a horse that he admitted was inexperienced at this level of the sport and which clearly surprised him...
Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 21:30
In sport, time is often the difference between victory and defeat, and in a display of supreme individual horsemanship, the Netherlands Jeroen Dubbeldam today sealed a growing reputation within the sport of Show Jumping by claiming the Individual World Champion title at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy by less than half a...

Eventing

Saturday, March 7, 2015 - 07:00
Doug Payne for Eventing Nation
EN guest writer Doug Payne successfully competes at the highest levels of eventing and show jumping, and today he's kindly sharing some of the wisdom he's learned as a student of both worlds. Follow DP Equestrian on Facebook here and check out his blog for much more from Doug. I am a self-confessed nerd who enjoys passing idle time...
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - 11:44
USEF Communications Department
Lexington, KY - The United States Equestrian Federation is pleased to announce that the 2016 Eventing 18 Program outline and application are now available. The Eventing 18 Program is the beginning of the athlete pipeline and aims to build a foundation of future horsemen and women that will hopefully go on to represent the United States. Selection...
Sunday, March 1, 2015 - 13:22
FEI Communications
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board yesterday stamped its approval on a change of venue for the Tokyo 2020 equestrian events. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee presented the change to the IOC Executive Board at its meeting in Rio (BRA) as part of the Tokyo 2020 venue master plan following the FEI’s approval of the switch...
Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 16:33
Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event
100% Additional Donations to Benefit HORSES and HOPE Charity Lexington, Kentucky - February 26, 2015 - Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), producer of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Land Rover, has announced they will be hosting the inaugural RK-5K, a twilight 5K race  on Friday, April 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Horse Park. The...
Monday, February 23, 2015 - 12:24
Blue Hill Farm South suffered a terribly shocking experience yesterday in Ocala, when Missy's living quarters coach went up in flames, taking her Subaru with it.  She is going to be ok, and thankfully Brigitte Aikelin and Tiffany Smith who were nearby acted quickly to get our beloved Jamie out of the coach.  Missy and all of her dogs are ok, and...
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 - 10:29
Sarah Bookner
The Carolina International sponsored two winter clinics at the Carolina Horse Park to help riders improve their overall competition experience and results. Clinicians focused on improving dressage scores and preparing for and riding a show jumping course. Sarah Bookner rode in the Beginner Novice session with an off-the-track Thoroughbred named...
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 - 10:18
Leslie Threlkeld
It is with great sadness we have learned 30-year-old Francisco Seabra of Portugal died on cross country at the Rancho Alegre Eventing Tour de Utrera in Sevilla, Spain, today while competing in the CIC2*. According to an announcement on Rancho Alegre’s website, the accident occurred at the third element of fence 10, a water jump, of the Pierre...

Reining and Western Riding

Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 14:47
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 - 14:31
ARHA – Austrian Reining Horse Association
$80,000-added AustrianRHA Futurity...
Monday, February 16, 2015 - 12:01
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 $...
Saturday, February 14, 2015 - 18:39
NRHA News
Make plans now to come to the American Quarter Horse Association’s Markel AQHA Cowtown Showdown presented by the City of Fort Worth, March 7, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. at the Will Rogers Memorial Center! The Markel AQHA Cowtown Showdown celebrates AQHA’s 75th Anniversary and will feature four top NRHA riders – and we need you to come cheer them on and...
Saturday, February 14, 2015 - 18:20
Todd Branson Sr.,Director of Marketing,NRHA
Oklahoma City, Okla.– The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) concluded five days of productive meetings with NRHA’s top leaders this past week in Scottsdale, Ariz. Focusing on the association’s core business objectives for 2015, NRHA’s Board of Directors also met to guide the future of the sport of Reining.  Among several items discussed...
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - 10:49
USEF Communications Department
Lexington, KY - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the dates and locations for the 2015 Adequan/USEF Open Reining National Championship and 2015 USEF Youth Reining National Championships. Held as a CRI3*, the 2015 Adequan/USEF Open Reining National Championship will run during the High Roller Reining Classic,...
Monday, February 2, 2015 - 12:26
Lexington, VA - In a major announcement from the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) the Virginia Horse Center (VHC) has officially been awarded the bid for the 2015 AQHA Nutrena East Level 1 (Novice) Championships. The AQHA East Level 1 Championships will make the move from Murfreesboro, Tennessee to Lexington, Virginia for the 2015...

Driving

Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 08:08
Rebecca Walton USET Foundation
Weirsdale, FL - This weekend!  Help support the U.S. Pony Team! Saturday, February 28, and Sunday March 1, 2015, Katie Whaley and Jennifer Matheson, in conjunction with the United States Equestrian Team Foundation, will be hosting a special fundraiser at the Grand Oaks Resort in Weirsdale, Florida. This exciting event will help raise funds for...
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - 07:35
Here is a great opportunity to ask ADS "R" Rated Dressage judge Craig Kellong all those questions you have after you read your score sheets. Understand what they saw or what they are looking for. Audit and watch participants as they do their test of choice. Join in on the round table discussions, and enjoy breakfast and lunch at the beautiful...
Monday, February 16, 2015 - 14:40
Take part in the exciting sport of Combined Driving and watch world class competition by volunteering this weekend at the Kingdom of the Sun Combined Driving Event on February 19-22, 2015 from 8a.m. to 4p.m.. The Florida Horse Park needs timers, observers, gate stewards, and dressage for this event. Anyone who volunteers can enjoy watching the...
Monday, February 9, 2015 - 12:20
Elaine Lockhead Castelao
Beyond the walls of tourism, there are parts of Cuba the government doesn’t want you to see. As the wife of a refugee who landed in this country in a sheet metal boat with just a pair of shorts and a desire to regain a professional life, I have had the rare privilege of visiting the real Cuba. This is the Cuba the government will shield you from...
Sunday, February 8, 2015 - 09:08
Cindy Timmer
Bordeaux (FRA) - Dutch driver IJsbrand Chardon has taken the lead of the FEI World Cup™ Driving Final 2015 in Bordeaux (FRA) after the first competition held last night. The reigning FEI World Cup™ Driving Champion Boyd Exell (AUS) is close second. Germany’s Christoph Sandmann is currently lying in third position. IJsbrand Chardon was the first...
Monday, February 2, 2015 - 10:01
Wellington, FL – The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is pleased to announce that No. 1 Driver in the World, Chester Weber of Ocala, FL, is the recipient of the 2015 Whitney Stone Cup. The award is presented annually to an active competitor who displays consistent excellence in international competition and high standards of sportsmanlike...
Friday, January 30, 2015 - 11:56
Charlotte Carnot, RB Presse
The history of the Jumping International de Bordeaux is inseparable from that of the Show Jumping World Cup, constituting one of its legs ever since the event’s creation. The sport has never failed to provide striking memories: from Belgium's Christian Huysegoms in 1978 to Germany’s Marcus Ehning – who took first place in style last year with the...

Show Jumping

Saturday, March 7, 2015 - 08:30
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
Littletown, PA - The prize list for the 2015 Swan Lake Horse Show's Premier (AA) Blue Rock Classic prize list is now available online. With winter coming to an end, the Blue Rock Classic from May 13 - May 17, 2015 is right around the corner. Click here to view full prize list. Entries can be completed online through ShowGroundsLive at www....
Saturday, March 7, 2015 - 07:00
Doug Payne for Eventing Nation
EN guest writer Doug Payne successfully competes at the highest levels of eventing and show jumping, and today he's kindly sharing some of the wisdom he's learned as a student of both worlds. Follow DP Equestrian on Facebook here and check out his blog for much more from Doug. I am a self-confessed nerd who enjoys passing idle time...
Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 09:33
Global Champions Tour
World No. 1 Scott Brash (GBR) and World No4 Kent Farrington (USA) will be joined by a glittering collection of five-star show jumpers from around the globe for the very first Longines Global Champions Tour of Miami Beach from 2-4 April. The golden sands of Florida's beautiful coastline will host some of the greatest names in the sport as the...
Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 09:04
The Ridge at Wellington PR
Wellington, FL - March 4, 2015 - The Ridge at Wellington's Turf Tour visited Tonkawa Farms to kick off the ninth week of competition.  The sun shined all day over the gorgeous polo fields on the private estate.  Manicured hedges bordered the property and created a tranquil setting for the horses and riders to enjoy beautiful courses designed by...
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - 14:59
HITS E-News
Ocala, Florida: The bleachers were full and the grass berms surrounding the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium were lined with spectators for Sunday’s $50,000 Ring Power Grand Prix, and fans were treated to an exciting class with a race to the finish. Kristen VanderVeen from St. Charles, Illinois, came out on the top with an all-out gallop to the...
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - 14:39
Starting Gate Communications
East Dorset, Vermont - Competitors asked for it, and the Vermont Summer Festival delivered.  350,000 pounds of new footing, that is!  In a major overhaul, Kruse Cushion Ride (KCR) will be installed prior to the 2015 Vermont Summer Festival, covering 334,000 square feet of ring surface including all competition arenas, warm-up rings, and lunging...
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - 14:34
HITS E-News
HITS, Inc. is pleased to announce that the 2015 Prize List for HITS Culpeper at Commonwealth Park in Culpeper, Virginia, has been mailed and is available online. Click to download the full 2015 Culpeper Prize List. To request a mailed 2015 Culpeper Prize List, click here. Permanent stabling will sell out, so order your circuit stalls today! About...

Para Dressage

Friday, January 16, 2015 - 05:20
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 - 04:46
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 - 09:29
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 - 05:31
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 - 07:52
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 - 05:00
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 - 06:30
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 - 17:41
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 - 06:53
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 - 06:18
  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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