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

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

Monday, November 24, 2014 - 12:13
Sally Spickard for Eventing Nation
Mary King is teaching a clinic hosted by Kelly Gage of Team EnGaged Clinics at Morven Park this week, imparting wisdom coming from many years as an international competitor. Mary did some work with younger horses and riders competing at varying levels yesterday, working on quality of gait and adjustablity with each student. Friend of EN Valerie...
Monday, November 17, 2014 - 13:51
Anna Sharpley, FEI Communications
Twenty-two-year-old Jessica Manson withstood the pressure applied by Olympian and former Adelaide champion Megan Jones, posting a super clear round aboard her 13-year-old Australian Stock Horse, Legal Star, to win the second leg of the FEI Classics™ at the Australian International 3 Day Event.
 
Manson set up her victory yesterday by...
Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 10:42
USET Foundation
Gladstone, NJ - November 13, 2014 - The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is pleased to announce that it has awarded the 2015 Amanda Warrington Grant to Eventing rider Kurt Martin of Middleburg, VA. The Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant is awarded through the USET Foundation Amanda Pirie Warrington Fund. Earlier this year, Martin and his...
Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 09:57
Anna Sharpley, FEI Communications
The Australian Stock horse is known as “the breed for every need” and Jessica Manson’s grey gelding, Legal Star, came to the fore when needed today on cross country at the FEI Classics™ in Adelaide.
 
The 13-year-old Stock Horse Thoroughbred by Ringwould Legality kept his feet in deep footing coming out of the Rymill Lake, producing the...
Friday, November 14, 2014 - 09:16
Anna Sharpley, FEI Communications
Adelaide's Olympian Megan Jones produced the winning test for the dressage phase of the FEI Classics™ series at the Australian International 3 Day Event in Adelaide with Kirby Park Allofasudden, slowly worked back into peak fitness after injury kept him from the London 2012 Olympic team. However, she was “disappointed” with the 51.5 handed out to...
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 12:10
Anna Sharpley, FEI Communications
The charming South Australian city of Adelaide has put on its best "bib and tucker", with Jacaranda trees covering the city in a beautiful pre-Christmas mauve haze, ready for the FEI Classics™ at the most prestigious equestrian event in the Southern Hemisphere, the Australian International 3 Day Event.
 
This second leg of the FEI...
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 10:14
USEF Communications Department
Lexington, KY - The USEF Eventing High Performance Committee has approved the following High Performance Training Lists for the 2015 season. In determining these lists for 2015, the USEF Eventing Selection Committee is directly focused on the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team producing successful results at the 2015 Pan American Games and the 2016...

Reining and Western Riding

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 09:32
Larri Jo Starkey for The American Quarter Horse Journal
Oklahoma City, Ok - Para-reining returned November 15 to the 2014 AQHA World Championship Show as a demonstration sport. Six high-level para-dressage riders changed saddles and took a spin on American Quarter Horses in the Jim Norick Coliseum at Oklahoma State Fair Park. Along with a standing ovation from the crowd of reining enthusiasts in...
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 06:55
Emily Riden, Phelps Media Group, Inc.
Wellington, FL - November 17, 2014 - The Florida Gold Coast and the Florida Gulf Coast Quarter Horse Circuit are now accepting applications for vendor space at the 2014-2015 horse shows. The Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, will feature five full American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Shows at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center in...
Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 10:51
Emily Riden, Phelps Media Group, Inc.
Dubuque, IA - When Becky Shady's grandfather, Harry Shady, pulled up at Blain's Farm and Fleet in Dubuque, Iowa, he had on his stock trailer three horses that had never been touched. The Shadys had traveled to see Ray Ainsworth and to get a hand from the renowned horseman in starting their nervous and completely unhandled young horses. As the...
Friday, October 31, 2014 - 12:35
Mary Adelaide Brakenridge for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
Jupiter, FL - October 30, 2014 - Steed Training's goal for their Cow Horse Extravaganza series was to put on family friendly events that brought the community out to experience the excitement of reined cow horse competition, and their success was evident at the final event of the season. Spectators, sponsors and supporters gathered on Saturday,...
Friday, October 24, 2014 - 15:18
Mary Adelaide Brakenridge Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
Jupiter, FL - Don't miss the final event of the season in Steed Training and Horse Show By Appointment's popular series! Get your boots on and come out Saturday afternoon, Oct. 25, for the family friendly Western exhibition. Learn about the exciting discipline of ranch horse riding and ranch horse competitions, which demand versatility and quick...
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - 10:15
Emily Riden, Phelps Media Group, Inc.
Tampa, Fl. - Quarter Horse riders, owners and trainers mark your calendars and clear your schedules now for December 27 - 31, 2014. The Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Shows is returning to the Florida State Fairgrounds' Bob Thomas Equestrian Center, and the five full days of American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) shows are not to be missed....
Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 10:10
The Sanctuary Equine Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation Center will be at the All American Quarter Horse Congress and will be providing therapies. MagnaWave and Laser Therapy will be available with special Congress pricing. They can treat your horses and your dogs. To make an appointment call or text Melissa at (352)804-6864

Driving

Sunday, November 23, 2014 - 09:51
Cindy Timmer, FEI Communications
Reigning FEI World Cup™ Driving champion Boyd Exell (AUS) won the series first qualifier of the season in the packed Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart (GER) after performing two thrilling rounds. IJsbrand Chardon (NED) was the runner up while third place was claimed by home driver Christoph Sandmann.
 
Too Confident
Exell drove his very...
Monday, November 3, 2014 - 07:20
Yellow Horse Marketing
The popular and innovative USEF Developing Driver Program (DDP) held its final clinic of the year on picturesque Hillcroft Farm in Paris, Ky., October 24 - 26, 2014.  Whether drivers were wrapping up their show year or getting ready for the 2015 Florida season, this intensive clinic offered up-and-coming High Performance drivers a special...
Friday, October 31, 2014 - 15:13
Sarah Evers Conrad
In October, the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, sees a lot of action. Thousands of people and horses come for the United States Mounted Games Association’s Bluegrass Finale, the Octoberfest Horse Trials, the Battle in the Saddle Celebrity Team Penning Event, the Certified Horsemanship Association’s International Conference, the Kentucky...
Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 09:14
Revolution Sports
30 October 2014 - This year’s Olympia, The London International Horse Show takes place from 16-22 December and  boasts a star-studded equine line up, including a Medal Parade from the GBR Equestrian Teams, an appearance from record breaking racehorse, Kauto Star and Dressage Masterclasses from British riders, Michael Eilberg and Laura Tomlinson...
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - 12:25
Lindsay McCall for the USPEA
Lodi, California- Four Para-Equestrian Drivers competed at the Shady Oaks CDE September 18-21, 2014, in Lodi, California. Those athletes included Tracy Bowman competing in Preliminary Single Pony; Ginny Leal competing in Training Level Single Pony; Diane Kastama competing in Preliminary Pair; and Stefanie Putnam who competed in Preliminary Single...
Monday, October 6, 2014 - 10:09
Kathleen Landwehr, USEF
Lexington, Ky. - The last USEF National Combined Driving Champions of 2014 were crowned during the final day at the Kentucky Classic CDE as drivers guided their horses and ponies through Richard Nicoll's 20-obstacle cones course at the Kentucky Horse Park.   USEF National Pairs Championship  Misdee Wrigley Miller (Lakewood Ranch, Fla.) earned her...
Sunday, October 5, 2014 - 10:23
Kathleen Landwehr, USEF
Lexington, Ky. - The exciting marathon phase took place Saturday at the Kentucky Classic CDE, the host of the final USEF National Combined Driving Championship competitions of 2014. Drivers demonstrated their skill through seven-obstacles on the marathon track at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. USEF National Pairs Championship        By...

Show Jumping

Monday, November 24, 2014 - 12:17
Chicago Equestrian
Barrington, IL – Old Barrington Farm welcomes nationally renowned trainer Frank Madden to their farm for a hunter/jumper clinic Saturday, December 6th and Sunday, December 7th, 2014. Madden will teach three sessions each day consisting of 3’ hunters, 3’ jumpers and 3’6” jumpers and equitation. There are a few rider spots open and auditors are...
Monday, November 24, 2014 - 12:04
Jessica Rodrigues, R&B Presse
At some events, speed classes take a back seat, with the Grand Prix stealing the limelight, yet spectators love against-the-clock events. It is always gripping to watch brave, talented riders and horses scrape off precious seconds with quick turns and angled jumps. At the Masters Grand Slam Indoor, the Longines Speed Challenge against the clock...
Monday, November 24, 2014 - 11:48
Louise Parkes, FEI Communications
William Whitaker stepped right into the limelight with a brilliant win with Fandango at the fifth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League series in Stuttgart, Germany today. The 25-year-old nephew of British legends, John and Michael Whitaker, out-classed many of the best in the world in a thrilling 10-horse...
Monday, November 17, 2014 - 14:10
Brian Hennessy
17/11/2014 - The three day Emerald International Irish Masters came to a close on Sunday evening, with a thrilling finale to the €15,000 Irish Masters 1.50m Grand Prix, where Co Meath’s Edward Butler grabbed the winners prize with the Angela Taggart owned mare Caugherty. Butler and the 12 year old by Limmerick who is out of a Flagmount Diamond...
Monday, November 17, 2014 - 14:04
Blenheim EquiSports
November 15, 2014 - Las Vegas, NV - In true Las Vegas style, the final highlight event of the Las Vegas National opened with glitz and glamour. As eager spectators began to fill the stands, forty-four of show jumping's best and brightest prepared to compete in the $75,000 Las Vegas CSI-W Grand Prix.  After ten went clean, it was Harrie Smolders (...
Monday, November 17, 2014 - 13:46
Blenheim EquiSports
November 15, 2014 - Las Vegas, NV - Saturday's highlight events kicked off in winning form with a tremendously exciting $10,000 1.40m Winning Round Classic, presented by Cardflex Financial. The ten riders with the least faults and fastest times from the first round are brought back for round two, and given a clean slate to compete for the top...
Monday, November 17, 2014 - 13:39
Brian Hennessy
An incredible performance from sixteen year-old Christopher Megahey from Templepatrick Co Antrim, saw him win Saturday nights Emerald International Puissance, clearing the big red wall at a height of 2 metres 5 centimetres (6 ft 7 inches) with the Britt Megahey owned Cruise On gelding Seapatrick Cruise Cavalier. Having started at a height of 1....

Para Dressage

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...
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 05:59
  Gladstone, NJ - As the end of year draws near, The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage has raised $615,000 towards its $800,000 goal, however in order to have the funding needed to implement the Para Dressage High Performance program, it needs more support from those in the equestrian community that want to see our Para Dressage riders have the opportunity to achieve competitive excellence in international competition.  The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge is an exciting fundraising initiative that was launched in April thanks to the incredible generosity of Margaret H. Duprey and The Barnfield Foundation. Duprey and The Barnfield Foundation have each pledged up to $200,000, matching dollar for dollar, gift commitments of $4,000 and above, payable over...
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 07:38
Written By: Lindsay McCall for the USPEA
U.S. WEG Team Athlete Sydney Collier and her dog Journey. Journey became a media sensation at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Photo copyright SusanJStickle.com Lexington, KY - November 4, 2014 - The United States Para-Equestrian Association  (USPEA) would like to thank the United States Equestrian Federation ( USEF) for their support of the Para-Dressage Young Rider Program. As a USEF International Discipline Association the USPEA fosters the Para-Equestrian sport from the grassroots to the high performance level. The USPEA was recently awarded a USEF Affiliate Grant. Through this awarded USEF Affiliate Grant, the USPEA is able to further support the discipline at the young rider level. Offering high-level opportunities to young rider para-dressage athletes benefits not only...
Friday, October 31, 2014 - 04:27
Written By: Lindsay Y. McCall
Mary Jordan and Rubicon 75 at the USDF Region 8 Championships presented by New England Dressage Association September 18-21, 2014 (Photo: ©Amy E. Riley/STUDIO EQUUS) Lexington, KY - 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) athlete Mary Jordan of Wells, Maine is headed to the 2014 U.S. Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® scheduled for November 6-9, in Lexington, KY. Jordan qualified with Rubicon 75 (Royal-Hit x Edelkarin/Absinthe) at the GAIG/United States Dressage Federation Region 8 Championships presented by New England Dressage Association (NEDA) September 18-21, 2014. Unprecedented, this horse and rider combination is the only Para-Equestrian Dressage duo to win an able-bodied Regional Championship to go to the Finals. Jordan earned her invitation when the pair won the 3rd Le...
Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 13:23
Written By: 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 with her mare Royal Delight ahead of British Paralympic and reigning world champion Sophie Christiansen and Singapore's most-decorated Paralympic athlete Laurentia Tan. Morganti, who also won Individual Grade 1a silver at the Games in Normandy, beat five champions to the top spot in the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) poll from the worlds of canoeing, athletics, swimming and sailing following a bumper month of global para-sport.   Since her internationa...
Saturday, August 16, 2014 - 09:16
Written By: Lindsay McCall for the USPEA
2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team and support staff in Aachen having a team meeting during training camp. Photo courtesy of Sydney Collier Aachen, Germany  -  The 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team and Chef d' Equipe Kai Handt arrived in Aachen and began their training camp this week. The U.S. Team and Individual athletes include: Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan's Willi Wesley; two-time Paralympian (2008 and 2012) and 2010 WEG athlete Rebecca Hart (Unionville, Pa.) and Schroeter's Romani, owned by Rebecca Hart in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Sycamore Station Equine Division, Barbara Summer, The Ruffolo's, and Will and Sandy Kimmel; Angela Peavy (Avon, Con...
Saturday, August 16, 2014 - 09:16
Written By: Lindsay McCall for the USPEA
2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team and support staff in Aachen having a team meeting during training camp. Photo courtesy of Sydney Collier Aachen, Germany  -  The 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team and Chef d' Equipe Kai Handt arrived in Aachen and began their training camp this week. The U.S. Team and Individual athletes include: Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan's Willi Wesley; two-time Paralympian (2008 and 2012) and 2010 WEG athlete Rebecca Hart (Unionville, Pa.) and Schroeter's Romani, owned by Rebecca Hart in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Sycamore Station Equine Division, Barbara Summer, The Ruffolo's, and Will and Sandy Kimmel; Angela Peavy (Avon, Con...
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 15:56
Written By: USEF Communications
Sydney Collier and Willi Wesley at the 2014 Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3*. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall Lexington, Ky. - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has named five horse-and-athlete combinations to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team. Four combinations will serve as the Team, while one combination will compete as an Individual. The following horse-and-athlete combinations have been named to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team (in alphabetical order): Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan's Willi Wesley, a 2000 Warmblood gelding. Rebecca Hart (Unionville, PA) and her own Schroeter's Romani, a 2003 Danish Warmblood mare. Angela Peavy (Avon, Conn.) and Rebecca Re...
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 15:56
Written By: USEF Communications
Sydney Collier and Willi Wesley at the 2014 Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3*. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall Lexington, Ky. - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has named five horse-and-athlete combinations to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team. Four combinations will serve as the Team, while one combination will compete as an Individual. The following horse-and-athlete combinations have been named to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team (in alphabetical order): Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan's Willi Wesley, a 2000 Warmblood gelding. Rebecca Hart (Unionville, PA) and her own Schroeter's Romani, a 2003 Danish Warmblood mare. Angela Peavy (Avon, Conn.) and Rebecca Re...
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 11:44
Written By: Diana DeRosa
Susan Treabess. Photo by Diana DeRosa The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy are just around the corner and everyone headed to the Games is anxious for everything to start. Opening Ceremony takes place on August 23rd with the actual competition beginning on the 25th. While media and spectators are packing their bags, riders and horses competing in the first week and prepping for their journey to France. On Sunday, August 10th, the Endurance and Para-Dressage riders were sharing quarters at the USET Foundation Headquarters in Gladstone, NJ. With camera in hand, it was the perfect opportunity to capture pictures and listen to the excited voices of the riders as they talked about the impending journey. The Para riders will be competing at the La Prairie Racecourse August 25...
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