Equestrian Sport Productions Spring Series

 New Rider
Bonuses Announced!
 
Wellington, FL – March 19, 2013 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP), the management company of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), is pleased to announce that the prize list for its 2013 spring horse show series is now available online at www.equestriansport.com. The five-week spring circuit runs April 3 through May 12, 2013, featuring top hunter/jumper competition at the world-class Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.

ESP Spring 1-3 will feature a $10,000 Open Stake class as well as a $25,000 Rolex/USEF Ranking Grand Prix each week. ESP Spring 1 will highlight Pony Hunter Classics on Saturday evening, ESP Spring 2 features a special FEI Group IV Challenge for riders 14-18, and a USHJA National Hunter Classic will be held on Saturday evening during ESP Spring 3. All shows offer Marshall & Sterling (M&S) and North American League (NAL) classes.

 New for Spring 2013, a special $10,000 rider bonus will be offered for the first three weeks of competition. The ESP Spring Rider Challenge will be awarded to the rider who earns the most points accumulated from the $10,000 Open Stakes classes and each $25,000 USEF Ranked Grand Prix offered at the ESP Spring 1, 2, & 3 shows. Points are given to riders for each of the six competitions and will be awarded on a formula based on the number of riders in each competition.

The ESP Spring Rider Challenge awards will be presented upon the conclusion of the $25,000 Grand Prix at ESP Spring 3 on Sunday, April 20, at The Stadium at PBIEC. First place will receive $5,000, second place will receive $3,000, and third place will receive $2,000.  

Also new is rider bonus money for hunter circuit champions. ESP will also award money for overall hunter circuit champions and reserve champions. The following divisions will be eligible for the bonus money: Overall Junior Hunter Champion and Reserve Champion, Overall Amateur-Owner Hunter (both 3’3″ and 3’6″ Divisions) Champion and Reserve Champion, Overall Adult Amateur Hunter Champion and Reserve Champion, Overall Children’s Hunter Champion and Reserve Champion, and Overall Pony Hunter Champion and Reserve Champion. Champions will receive $700 and reserve champions will receive $300. Money will be awarded on Sunday, April 20.

The ESP Spring Circuit dates are: 

ESP Spring 1: April 3-7, 2013 “AA” & Jumper Rated 4

$10,000 Open Stake, Thursday at 2 p.m.

$1,500 Tackeria NAL Child/Adult Classic, Friday at 6 p.m.

$1,000 Pony Derby Classic (1 each for Small, Medium, Larges), Saturday at 7 p.m.

$25,000 Spring 1 Grand Prix, Sunday at 2 p.m.

ESP Spring 2: April 10-14, 2013 “AA” & Jumper Rated 4

$10,000 Open Stake, Thursday at 2 p.m.$25,000 Spring 2 Grand Prix, Sunday at 2 p.m.

FEI Group IV Championship, Sunday, time TBD

ESP Spring 3: April 17-21, 2013 “AA” & Jumper Rated 4

$10,000 Open Stake, Thursday at 2 p.m.

USHJA National Hunter Classic, Saturday at 7 p.m.

$25,000 Spring 3 Grand Prix, Sunday at The Stadium (weather permitting) at 2 p.m.

ESP Spring 4: May 3-5, 2013 “A” & Jumper Rated 3

$10,000 Open Stake, Sunday

ESP Spring 5: May 11-12, 2013 “C” Rated & Jumper Rated 3

$1,500 Tackeria NAL Child/Adult Jumper Classic, Saturday
The Sanctuary at PBIEC $2,500 NAL A/O-Junior Jumper Classic, Sunday
Equestrian Sport Productions would like to thank the sponsors of the spring series, including: #1 Education Place, Brook Ledge Horse Transportation, Copy & Print Depot at Office Depot, Derby Gold Pine Shavings, Diptera, Draper Therapies, Everglades Farm Equipment, Fly Armor, Gold Coast Feed & Supply, McGuinn Farms, Neue Schule Bits, Palm Beach Riding Academy, Pennfield Feeds, Pilates Rocks, Pine Hollow Farm, Sanctuary at PBIEC, Sweet Oak Farm, Tackeria, University of Miami Ear Institute & Uhealth, Welli Deli, and Wellington Equestrian Realty.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

FTI WEF E-Newsletter Week 11

The tenth week of the FTI WEF was from March 13-17 and sponsored by Horseware Ireland. Week eleven runs March 20-24 and is sponsored by Artisan Farms. The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks from January 9-March 31, 2013, and will award almost $7 million in prize money through the circuit.

FTI WEF
Exhibitor Alert

Week 11

In the wake of an electrical fire last week at a barn off Lake Worth Road, the Palm Beach County Fire Department will be doing random checks of the barn areas at PBIEC for the next several weeks, and ESP Stabling staff will also be checking extension cords.

Exhibitors should be reminded that the first two rules on the WEF Stabling form (for both permanent and tent stabling at WEF and GDF grounds) and listed in the prize list address these fire safety concerns.

The Palm Beach County Fire Department and ESP will have zero tolerance for any condition that is considered unsafe. We ask that all exhibitors review their barn areas for any potential risks.

The fire safety rules are listed as follows:

1. No one may use any electrical outlet to connect any cord or appliance that does not meet local code and any such item may be removed without claim for damages.

2. Electric outlets are for fans, clippers, small radios, and other approved small appliances. No golf carts, heaters, refrigerators, or water coolers may be connected to these outlets. ESP LLC may refuse use of outlets as it deems reasonable.

Biosecurity Update

ESP announces that restrictions for horses shipping in have been lifted. Horses coming from barns where quarantine restrictions have been lifted are now allowed at PBIEC.

Any horses shipping onto the property (both WEF and GDF grounds) will require a health certificate or statement on official licensed veterinarian letterhead dated March 1, 2013, or after. Horses must still only ship in during daylight hours.

Equestrian Sport Productions thanks all of their exhibitors for raising their awareness and staying vigilant for these horse health and safety issues.

FTI WEF
Upcoming Events

Week 11

FTI WEF Week 11 Ride & Learn presented by Palm Beach Riding Academy

Learn from Irish European team gold medalist Kevin Babington in the Ride & Learn on Tuesday, March 19, in the International Arena. Sponsored by Farm Credit of Florida, participation is $100 per horse/rider. Contact Sean at 561-784-4275 for more information.

FTI WEF Week 11 Tiki Hut Tables

This week you can reserve a table for the upstairs or downstairs of the Tiki Hut for the $100,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final on Saturday, March 23. Don’t miss out on the chance to sit in one of the best locations surrounding the International Arena. Please contact Annette Goyette at 561-793-5867 to reserve a table.

FTI WEF 11 Lunch & Learn presented by Copy and Print Depot® at Office Depot®

Are you concerned about your horse’s nutrition? This week’s Lunch & Learn, “Nutritional Foundations for the Traveling Equine Athlete” sponsored by Cargill-Pennfield will provide riders, trainers and owners with valuable information about the necessary nutrients for competition horses. Equine Nutrition Specialist Doug Leavitt will be coming to The Wellington Club on Thursday, March 21, at 11:30 am. For more information please contact Meg Krueger at 561-784-1111.

Tiki Hut Happy Hour

Come grab a seat and a drink at the Tiki Hut and watch the $50,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Round 11 on Thursday, March 21, at 1:00 pm. With more prize money offered, the competition will be high. Don’t miss out on the excitement!

The 6th Annual George Morris Excellence in Equitation Exhibition presented by Alessandro Albanese

On Friday, March 22, the best junior equitation riders in the sport will compete in the International Arena at 4:00 pm. In order to qualify for this class a rider must have won a class at tFTI WEF prior to March 21. A rider may have won the USEF Hunt Seat Medal, ASPCA Maclay, USEF Talent Search, WIHS Overall or a Hunter Phase/Jumper Phase. Riders will be judged on how well they manage and warm up their horses as well as how well they execute the track in the International Arena. Riders are not allowed assistance from their trainer, but are allowed to have one groom. Aside from a winner being named, several special awards will be presented as well.

Vinceremos Special Olympics

The Special Olympics Area Equestrian Games will be held at The Stadium at PBIEC on Saturday, March 23, in the Van Kampen Covered Arena. Come cheer on the riders from Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center along with other equestrians from South Florida therapeutic riding centers. Winners will be invited to participate in the Special Olympics State Equestrian Games in the spring.

$100,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final

Come out and enjoy the second to last Saturday Night Lights event. The Bank of America Family Festival will be in full swing, a live band will be performing and there will be fun for the whole family. The gates open at 6:00 pm, with the show jumping beginning at 8:00 pm. The Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series $50,000 Leading Horse/Rider Combination Award will be awarded after the completion of the class to the rider that has accumulated the most points from the Suncast® 1.50m classes held FTI WEF Week’s 1-11. Hope to see you all there!

Wild 95.5 Night at The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center

Join Kevin, Virginia, and Jason from the WILD 95.5 FM morning show as they bring fun and entertainment to Saturday night’s events in the International Arena and The Gallery! A party bus from West Palm Beach will bring fans to PBIEC and there will even more fun with a dance-off on the table bank and second round in The Gallery after-party!

$15,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix presented by Dutta Corporation in association with Guido Klatte

Head out to the Derby Field on Sunday, March 24, at 9:00 am and watch some of the young talent in our sport tackle a course on the grass. Riders under the age of 25 will compete for a chance in the spotlight as well as a piece of the purse.

Palm Beach Woman Reception

Complimentary champagne, cheese and crackers will be served in the lobby of the Adequan Global Pavilion on Sunday, March 24, before the start of the $101,000 Pennfield Feeds CSI 4* Grand Prix to honor Katherine and Nicole Bellissimo being highlighted on the first edition of Palm Beach Woman Magazine. The reception is hosted by Palm Beach Woman Magazine and will be held from 1:00 pm until 2:00 pm. Everyone is welcome!

$101,000 Pennfield Feeds CSI 4* Grand Prix

Aside from the $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix, another exciting class will be held at The Stadium out on the Derby Field on Sunday, March 24, at 2:00 pm. Top Grand Prix riders will take to the grass and have another chance at qualifying for the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix on Saturday night, March 30.

Don’t Forget to Reserve your VIP Table for FTI WEF Week 12

Watch the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix on Saturday, March 30, from your own private table at The Special Events Pavilion, with panoramic views across the arena, offering a Chef’s Table Buffet with a cash bar for $1,000 for a table seating 6 guests, or individual seats at $200. Please contact Annette Goyette at 561-793-5867 to make a reservation.

Save the Date! FTI WEF Week 12 Ride and Learn sponsored by Palm Beach Riding Academy

Louise Serio will conclude the 2013 FTI WEF Ride & Learn Series and be the clinician for FTI WEF Week 12, sponsored by Quest Plus Dewormer, on Tuesday, March 26, at 3:00 pm. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to ride with one of the finest hunter riders of the sport. If you are interested please contact Sean Jones at 561-784-4275.

FTI WEF
Horse Show Wrap-Up

Week 10

Jumper Results: Wednesday through Sunday

Week ten of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by Horseware Ireland, featured the $33,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45 speed class on Wednesday with a win for Germany’s Johannes Ehning and Cayenne 162. Earning points on the Longines FEI world ranking list, the pair won over Alise Oken (USA) riding Kaid Du Ry and Beezie Madden (USA) aboard Mademoiselle, with a lightning fast round.

Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany was the course designer in the International Arena at PBIEC for week ten. Petersen set the speed track for 39 entries in Wednesday’s highlight FEI 1.45m class sponsored by Spy Coast Farm. The challenging course saw nine clear rounds.

Third in the order, Alise Oken was the first rider to clear the course aboard Hi Hopes Farm LLC’s Marcus Quintus and held the lead through a large part of the class with her time of 61.51 seconds. Nineteen rounds later, Beezie Madden and Abigail Wexner’s Mademoiselle stole the lead in 59.35 seconds. Two rounds after that, Oken returned aboard her second mount, Hi Hopes Farm LLC’s Kaid Du Ry, to reclaim her top spot with an even faster 58.92 seconds. They would both be beat a few rounds later when Johannes Ehning and Winley Farm LLC’s Cayenne 162 breezed through the timers in 58.87 seconds for the win.

Oken and Kaid Du Ry eventually finished second with Madden and Mademoiselle third. Japan’s Eiken Sato and Stephex Stables’ Viva jumped into the fourth position in 60.12 seconds, and Oken’s time with Markus Quintus placed fifth.

Ehning was happy to get the win in the final class on Wednesday as he finished second in both of the classes held earlier in the day. In the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off, Sarah Segal and Horatio St. Ventures’ Tilghman and Cian O’Connor and Mary Chapot’s Zealous were both winners in a split class. Ehning and Nybor Pferde GMBH & Co. KG’s Appearance 2 and Todd Minikus aboard Karen Polle’s Udonnay Z were each second. In the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m jump-off, Alexandra Paillot guided Carol Sollak’s Brooklyn Blues to the win. Ehning and Appearance 2 were once again second.

Ireland’s Conor Swail and Chinook Valley, Inc.’s Martha Louise were victorious in Thursday’s $33,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 10. Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany set the course in the International Arena for Thursday’s Challenge Cup class with 64 entries, 13 clear rounds to advance to the jump-off, and five double clear efforts over the short course. Conor Swail and Martha Louise, a nine-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare by Maloubet de Pleville 1039 x Wolfgang, had the leading time in 42.53 seconds.

Charlie Jacobs (USA) and CMJ Sporthorse LLC’s Flaming Star finished second in 43.72 seconds. Lauren Tisbo (USA) and Tequestrian Farms LLC’s Roundthorn Madios were third in 44.47 seconds. Heather Caristo-Williams and M/M Ralph Caristo’s Evening Star placed fourth in 44.49 seconds. Fifth place honors went to Japan’s Taizo Sugitani and Yvonne Young’s Avenzio 3 with their time of 47.39 seconds.

Along with his winning prize money, Swail was also presented with a special rider’s bonus for the SSG “Go Clean for the Green” promotion. A $3,000 bonus is offered each week if the winning rider of the Challenge Cup class is wearing the SSG ‘Digital’ Riding Gloves in all rounds of competition with the SSG logo clearly visible.

Week ten continued on Friday with a win for Great Britain’s Ben Maher and Quiet Easy 4 in the highlight $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m speed class. In an exciting finish, Maher just edged out Canada’s Eric Lamaze and Wang Chung M2S for the win with Japan’s Eiken Sato and Viva finishing in third.

Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany set the speed track for Friday’s $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m class in the International Arena at PBIEC with 43 entries competing. Fifteen were able to clear the course without fault and the times got faster and faster as the list went on. In the end, Ben Maher and Mrs. Phillips’ Quiet Easy 4 won it with their time of 60.69 seconds. Eric Lamaze and Wang Chung M2S, owned by Morningside Stud and Torrey Pines Stables, were just behind in 60.92 seconds. Eiken Sato and Stephex Stables’ Viva finished third in 62.06 seconds. Meagan Nusz (USA) and Amalaya Investments’ Vesuvius were fourth in 62.62 seconds.

The $10,000 Puissance high jump competition was held on Friday evening at The Stadium at PBIEC prior to the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle presented by Horseware Ireland for the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Great Britain’s Tim Gredley and Unex Valente and Germany’s Johannes Ehning and Salvador V went head to head over the wall in four rounds of competition with Gredley winning at a final height of 6’11” (2.10m).

The competition was held as a fun exhibition with slightly modified rules. The two competitors were allotted up to five rounds (first round and four jump-offs) with two attempts at the wall in each round if necessary. The wall began at 5’4″ (1.65m) in round one with both horses and riders jumping clear in one attempt. It then went up to 5’11” (1.85m) with two more clear rounds. In round three, Gredley and Valente cleared the 6’5″ (1.95m) wall on the first try and Ehning and Salvador took two attempts to jump the obstacle. Once the wall went up to 6’11” (2.10m) in round four, Gredley jumped clear, and Ehning opted to withdraw. Gredley earned the winning $7,000 for his effort and then, in an exciting twist, decided to jump higher.

Equestrian Sport Productions’ CEO Mark Bellissimo offered up $10,000 more if Gredley could clear the wall at 7’6″ (2.31m) or $5,000 just for attempting it. Gredley and Valente made two valiant efforts but rubbed the blocks off the top in both tries. They still came out of the day with $12,000 and a great experience.

Whether it was the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day or just natural skill and talent, the Irish riders were on a roll on the final day of competition for week ten of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by Horseware Ireland. Richie Moloney and Equinimity LLC’s Slieveanorra jumped to victory in the $33,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic to conclude the week’s jumper competition.

Showing at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Sunday afternoon, 31 entries showed in the 1.50m class over a course set by Germany’s Olaf Peterson, Jr. Eight competitors were able to clear the first round course without fault and seven went double clear in the jump-off. It was the Irish horse/Irish rider combination of Richie Moloney and Slieveanorra that completed the fastest clear round in 32.91 seconds for the win. The pair was honored additionally with the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award for week ten presented by Laura Whitlow.

Brazil’s Carlos Ribas and Ronaldo, owned by Ribas and Roberto Villa Real Jr., finished second with a time of 34.39 seconds. USA’s Karen Polle and With Wings were third in 35.38 seconds.

FTI WEF
Horse Show Wrap-Up

Week 10

Eiken Sato and Espyrante Succeed in $82,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3*
Japan’s Eiken Sato and Espyrante jumped to victory in the $82,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3* on Saturday night during another exciting evening of international competition for week ten at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). In a jump-off of seven nations, Sato beat out riders from Great Britain, Ireland, Venezuela, Germany, Greece and the United States for his first big win at the Pam Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany set the course for Saturday night’s Grand Prix with 40 entries competing at night under the lights. Ten riders representing seven different countries qualified for the jump-off and four went double clear over the short course.

Seventh to go, Venezuela’s Pablo Barrios and Zara Leandra, owned by the ZL Group Inc., were the first pair to jump the short course without fault and finished fourth with their time of 48.27 seconds. Up next, Great Britain’s Ben Maher and Jane Clark’s Urico cleared the course in 44.27 seconds to briefly take the lead. They were pushed into second by Japan’s Eiken Sato and Stephex Stables’ Espyrante, who stopped the clock in 42.79 seconds for the win. Last to go, Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam and Eregast Van’t Kiezelhof, owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC, finished clear in 47.61 seconds to take the third place prize.

Sato, 27, has lived in Belgium for nine years and began riding for Stephex Stables two years ago. His mount, Espyrante, is a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare by Obourg x Pauillac De Meia Lua that they got last year.

“My horse always jumps well,” Sato praised after his win. “Tonight she was amazing and I’m really happy. Last week Daniel Deusser won the Grand Prix, and this week I won one. We won for our stable two weeks in a row and this is my first Grand Prix that I have won in Palm Beach, so I am really happy.”

Describing Espyrante, Sato detailed, “She’s a really strong mare and actually nobody liked her at first. I tried working with her and she won the Grand Prix, so you never know. Only the horse can know.”

Sato went after a very fast round from Ben Maher and Urico and explained that he did watch them go, but trusted his horse’s ability to be faster.

“To be honest, I saw, but I tried not to see because he is such a fast rider,” Sato laughed. “The end I saw. My horse is naturally really fast, so I knew I needed to take risks, but I trust my horse and she did a fantastic job.”

Maher commented on his round with Urico, noting, “I was very happy. He felt back to himself tonight. He felt confident. The jump-off was one of those jump-offs again with a lot of riders knocking fences down, so I tried to beat the ones in front of me tonight, not the ones that were after me. I took a risk and it did not pay off tonight, but I could not be happier. He was fantastic and I would never complain about being second in a Grand Prix, especially to a great rider.”

Shane Sweetnam was showing his mount Eregast in the horse’s first Grand Prix as well as his first night class. Although the horse was a little green in the ring, Sweetnam was very happy with his performance.

“It’s his first Grand Prix of any sort. It’s his first Grand Prix here and WEF was his first 1.45m and last week was his first 1.50m,” Sweetnam emphasized. “Honestly, he wasn’t meant to be rushed as quickly, but with Siri getting injured, he had to step up and he has done a great job.”

“He is a very talented horse,” Sweetnam said. “He was very green in the jump-off. I wish I could have gone quicker because he can be a very fast horse, but the music and the crowd and everything was making him fairly high-strung. I was very, very happy with him. For the experience he has, he did unbelievable. I have very high hopes for him.”

Sweetnam commented on the course, stating, “I thought Olaf has always done a great job. As far as a going number of ten tonight in the jump-off, it made a very interesting jump-off with not so many clears. I think the second round the horses were a little tired, but I think he did a great job.”

Sato added, “I did the course walk for the first round and I thought there would be ten or twelve clear. In the jump-off there weren’t too many clear, but it was a fantastic course for the jump-off and it was really fun.”

Maher shared his opinion as well, noting, “It was a very different course. It was a lot more twisty and turny tonight. Not typically a course for here, but it was nice and different for the horses. It was good to see not big jumps, but a big course, take its toll with faults all over the place, which is a sign of a good Grand Prix.”

FTI WEF
Horse Show Wrap-Up

Week 10

Hunter and Equitation Results: Thursday through Sunday
Havens Schatt and Smiles had plenty to grin about after earning championship honors in the Lucas Equine Equipment Performance Hunter 3’3″ division during week ten of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Schatt and Smiles, a ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Bruce Duchossois, bested the division with consistent performances over two days of competition. Day one, the pair won the under saddle and placed first and third over fences, followed by second and fourth place finishes on day two. Hayley Barnhill and Missy Luczak-Smith’s Surf’s Up were reserve champions after two blue ribbon finishes over fences on day two.

Mary-Katherine Shaughnessy and her sixteen-year-old Trakehner gelding, Whitecap, jumped to tricolor honors in the Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 51+ Division during week ten of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). With the points widely spread across the division, Whitecap and Shaughnessy emerged as champions after consistent over fences performances. The pair was second and eighth over fences on day one of competition and first and eighth over fences on day two. Reserve champion was Sandra Epstein aboard her own Pembroke. Epstein piloted Pembroke to fourth and third places over fences on day one of competition.

Walk the Line and Lillie Keenan clinched the championship title in the Antarés Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division during week 10 of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Keenan and Walk the Line were a force to be reckoned with over fences, winning three of four over fences rounds. Keenan and Don Stewart’s fourteen-year-old gelding were also fourth over fences during day one of competition for the division.

Reserve champion honors went to Norgan, Inc.’s Capstone, ridden by Sydney Shulman. Shulman and Capstone were third and first over fences day one and placed third day two in all three classes, including an under saddle and two over fences rounds.

The owner-rider champion was Perfectionist and Cloe Hymowitz. Hymowitz also picked up reserve owner-rider honors with Garfield, co-owned by Alexandra Crown.

Ned Cunniffe piloted Cherrybrook Blue Suede Shoes to a St. Patrick’s Day victory in the Autism Speaks Children’s Large Pony Hunter during week ten of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Paulexi, LLC’s “Suede,” a seventeen-year-old Welsh Pony/Thoroughbred cross, was fourth under saddle and second in two over fences classes with Cunniffe in the irons.

Reserve championship honors went to Chatsworth, owned by Victoria Press and ridden by Emma Kurtz. Kurtz rode Chatsworth to first, seventh, and fourth over fences.

For full results, please visit http://www.showgroundslive.com.

FTI WEF
Horse Show Wrap-Up

Week 10

Week 10 Classic winners:
$15,000 RCG Farm SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumpers – Annie Cook and Banba

$10,000 Griffis Residential High Junior Jumpers- Kalvin Dobbs and Winde

$10,000 Animo USA Medium Amateur-Owner Jumpers – Nathalie Mathers and Windline

$10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Medium Junior Jumpers – Eugenio Garza and Styling

$10,000 Charles Owen Low Amateur-Owner Jumpers – Philip Richter and Firefly
$10,000 Maria Mendelsohn Low Junior Jumpers – Maddie Sisco and Ensor

$10,000 Adult Jumpers 18-49 (division sponsors Engel & Völkers and Martha Jolicoeur) -Tessa Weise and Carzat

$10,000 Horseware Don Little Masters – Kelly Maloney and Leroy Brown 17

Week 10 Champions:

EnTrust Children’s Jumper 14 & Under – Samantha Kasowitz and El Sueno’s Cantalupi

EnTrust Children’s Jumper 15-17 – Emma Schauder and Good Luck Charm

FarmVet Adult Modified Jumpers – Caroline Woods and Hidden Creek’s Quantum

Children’s Modified Jumpers – Thiele Schroeder and Mister Cash Van Der Veldmden

Paddock Cakes Low Adult Jumper 18-35 – Kristen Landino and Diamond Chill

Paddock Cakes Low Adult Jumper 36 & Over – Jane Leone and Desh+

Paddock Cakes Low Children’s Jumper – Dakota Freeman and Neblina

Exhibitor Alert: Fire Risk Rules and Biosecurity Update for

Wellington, FL – March 17, 2013 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) would like to announce an alert for exhibitors at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) regarding fire safety rules and a biosecurity update.

In the wake of an electrical fire last week at a barn off Lake Worth Road, the Palm Beach County Fire Department will be doing random checks of the barn areas at PBIEC for the next several weeks, and ESP Stabling staff will also be checking extension cords.

Exhibitors should be reminded that the first two rules on the WEF Stabling form (for both permanent and tent stabling at WEF and GDF grounds) and listed in the prize list address these fire safety concerns.

The Palm Beach County Fire Department and ESP will have zero tolerance for any condition that is considered unsafe. We ask that all exhibitors review their barn areas for any potential risks.

The fire safety rules are listed as follows:

1. No one may use any electrical outlet to connect any cord or appliance that does not meet local code and any such item may be removed without claim for damages.

2. Electric outlets are for fans, clippers, small radios, and other approved small appliances. No golf carts, heaters, refrigerators, or water coolers may be connected to these outlets. ESP LLC may refuse use of outlets as it deems reasonable.

Biosecurity Update

ESP announces that restrictions for horses shipping in have been lifted. Horses coming from barns where quarantine restrictions have been lifted are now allowed at PBIEC.

Any horses shipping onto the property (both WEF and GDF grounds) will require a health certificate or statement on official licensed veterinarian letterhead dated March 1, 2013, or after. Horses must still only ship in during daylight hours.

Equestrian Sport Productions thanks all of their exhibitors for raising their awareness and staying vigilant for these horse health and safety issues.

For more information on either the fire safety rules or biosecurity protocols, please call 561-793-5867.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Eiken Sato and Espyrante Succeed in $82,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3*

    Walk the Line and Lillie Keenan Victorious in Antarés Large Junior 16-17 Hunters
 
Wellington, FL – March 16, 2013 -Japan’s Eiken Sato and Espyrante jumped to victory in the $82,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3* on Saturday night during another exciting evening of international competition for week ten at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). In a jump-off of seven nations, Sato beat out riders from Great Britain, Ireland, Venezuela, Germany, Greece and the United States for his first big win at the Pam Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).
Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany set the course for Saturday night’s Grand Prix with 40 entries competing at night under the lights. Ten riders representing seven different countries qualified for the jump-off and four went double clear over the short course.
Eiken Sato Wins $82,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix at 2013 FTI WEF
Watch an interview with Eiken Sato!

Seventh to go, Venezuela’s Pablo Barrios and Zara Leandra, owned by the ZL Group Inc., were the first pair to jump the short course without fault and finished fourth with their time of 48.27 seconds. Up next, Great Britain’s Ben Maher and Jane Clark’s Urico cleared the course in 44.27 seconds to briefly take the lead. They were pushed into second by Japan’s Eiken Sato and Stephex Stables’ Espyrante, who stopped the clock in 42.79 seconds for the win. Last to go, Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam and Eregast Van’t Kiezelhof, owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC, finished clear in 47.61 seconds to take the third place prize.

Eiken Sato and Espyrante. Photo © Sportfot.
Sato, 27, has lived in Belgium for nine years and began riding for Stephex Stables two years ago. His mount, Espyrante, is a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare by Obourg x Pauillac De Meia Lua that they got last year.
 
“My horse always jumps well,” Sato praised after his win. “Tonight she was amazing and I’m really happy. Last week Daniel Deusser won the Grand Prix, and this week I won one. We won for our stable two weeks in a row and this is my first Grand Prix that I have won in Palm Beach, so I am really happy.”

Describing Espyrante, Sato detailed, “She’s a really strong mare and actually nobody liked her at first. I tried working with her and she won the Grand Prix, so you never know. Only the horse can know.”

Sato went after a very fast round from Ben Maher and Urico and explained that he did watch them go, but trusted his horse’s ability to be faster.

“To be honest, I saw, but I tried not to see because he is such a fast rider,” Sato laughed. “The end I saw. My horse is naturally really fast, so I knew I needed to take risks, but I trust my horse and she did a fantastic job.”

Maher commented on his round with Urico, noting, “I was very happy. He felt back to himself tonight. He felt confident. The jump-off was one of those jump-offs again with a lot of riders knocking fences down, so I tried to beat the ones in front of me tonight, not the ones that were after me. I took a risk and it did not pay off tonight, but I could not be happier. He was fantastic and I would never complain about being second in a Grand Prix, especially to a great rider.”

Shane Sweetnam was showing his mount Eregast in the horse’s first Grand Prix as well as his first night class. Although the horse was a little green in the ring, Sweetnam was very happy with his performance.
“It’s his first Grand Prix of any sort. It’s his first Grand Prix here and WEF was his first 1.45m and last week was his first 1.50m,” Sweetnam emphasized. “Honestly, he wasn’t meant to be rushed as quickly, but with Siri getting injured, he had to step up and he has done a great job.”

“He is a very talented horse,” Sweetnam said. “He was very green in the jump-off. I wish I could have gone quicker because he can be a very fast horse, but the music and the crowd and everything was making him fairly high-strung. I was very, very happy with him. For the experience he has, he did unbelievable. I have very high hopes for him.”

Sweetnam commented on the course, stating, “I thought Olaf has always done a great job. As far as a going number of ten tonight in the jump-off, it made a very interesting jump-off with not so many clears. I think the second round the horses were a little tired, but I think he did a great job.”
Sato added, “I did the course walk for the first round and I thought there would be ten or twelve clear. In the jump-off there weren’t too many clear, but it was a fantastic course for the jump-off and it was really fun.”

Maher shared his opinion as well, noting, “It was a very different course. It was a lot more twisty and turny tonight. Not typically a course for here, but it was nice and different for the horses. It was good to see not big jumps, but a big course, take its toll with faults all over the place, which is a sign of a good Grand Prix.”

Eiken Sato and Espyrante in their winning presentation with Tom MacGuinness, Lorraine MacGuinness, Ciaran Herr, Emma Ferguson, and Kelly Nicolls for Horseware Ireland and ringmaster Cliff Haines. Photo © Sportfot.

Final Results: $82,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3*  

1. ESPYRANTE: 2004 Belgian Warmblood mare by Obourg x Pauillac De Meia Lua EIKEN SATO (JPN), Stephex Stables: 0/0/42.79
2. URICO: 2001 KWPN gelding by Zandor Z x Fedor BEN MAHER (GBR), Jane F. Clark: 0/0/44.27
3. EREGAST VAN’T KIEZELHOF: 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Latano
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm, LLC: 0/0/47.61

4. ZARA LEANDRA: 2004 KWPN mare by Metropole x Ahorn

PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), ZL Group, Inc: 0/0/48.27
5. TUXEDO: 2001 KWPN gelding by Gentleman x Hamilcar
TODD MINIKUS (USA), Legacy Stables, LLC: 0/4/46.81
6. KING KOLIBRI: 2002 Hanoverian stallion by Kolibri x
Achill-Libero H

LAUREN TISBO (USA), Tequestrian Farms LLC: 0/4/48.10   
7. AD BABOUCHE: 2000 gelding by Baloubet du Rouet x Aldato
ATHINA ONASSIS DE MIRANDA (GRE), Athina Onassis de Miranda & Victory Equestrian: 0/4/54.02
8. QUINTANA ROO 2: 2005 Holsteiner gelding by Quintero x CardinoJOHANNES EHNING (GER), Nybor Pferde GmbH & Co. KG: 0/4/54.64
9. TEIRRA: 2000 KWPN mare by Tolano Van Het Riethof x Aldatus
ALISE OKEN (USA), Hi Hopes Farm, LLC: 0/8/46.03
10. USER ID: 2001 KWPN gelding by Namelus R x Goodwill Darragh Kenny (IRL), OnlyJumpers.com: 0/12/48.12
11. WHISPER HE: 2003 KWPN gelding by Unknown
SAMUEL PAROT (CHI), Samuel Parot: 4/70.41
12. OLYMPIC DE CHAMANT: 2002 Selle Francais gelding by Gentleman IV SF x Apache D’adriers Johnathan Corrigan (IRL), Sagamore Farms: 4/73.04

Walk the Line and Lillie Keenan Victorious in Antarés Large Junior 16-17 Hunters

Walk the Line and Lillie Keenan clinched the championship title in the Antarés Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division during week 10 of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Keenan and Walk the Line were a force to be reckoned with over fences, winning three of four over fences rounds. Keenan and Don Stewart’s fourteen-year-old gelding were also fourth over fences during day one of competition for the division.

Reserve champion honors went to Norgan, Inc.’s Capstone, ridden by Sydney Shulman. Shulman and Capstone were third and first over fences day one and placed third day two in all three classes, including an under saddle and two over fences rounds.

The owner-rider champion was Perfectionist and Cloe Hymowitz. Hymowitz also picked up reserve owner-rider honors with Garfield, co-owned by Alexandra Crown.

 Keenan is currently at the top of the circuit championship standings with her other Large Junior mount, Madison, but considers Walk the Line to be equally as talented. “Madison tends to win the hacks, but Walk the Line has a very striking jump. When he goes over the fence, it almost makes you open your eyes a little more. There’s a ‘wow’ factor to how he goes over each fence,” Keenan described.

“I’m very lucky because both of my Large Juniors are very fancy,” Keenan continued. “Both of them are a lot of fun to ride. They have a lot of similarities, but are still quite different. Walk the Line is a little quirky, but I like that about him. I think we match really well.”

While Keenan dominates junior divisions in hunters, jumpers, and equitation classes on a number of competitive mounts, she especially appreciates Walk the Line’s desire to be the best. “I know that every time he goes in the ring he wants to win. All of my horses are like that but it is especially true for him. It’s nice to know that every time you go in the ring, he wants to do well,” Keenan commented.

Keenan is quick to credit the gelding’s success to the exceptional support she receives from owner Don Stewart’s daughter, Erin. “Don is in Ocala right now and I go back to school every week. Erin does a wonderful job with him during the week. She comes to the ring and helps me with him, along with everyone at Heritage [Farm],” Keenan remarked.

Keenan juggles her time between attending the Spence School in her native New York City and competing at the FTI WEF every weekend in Wellington, a feat that she realizes would not be possible without the incredible support system she is surrounded by.

“I care a lot about my schoolwork and my grades. I’m expected to do really well by my family and I expect it of myself.” the fifteen-year-old explained.

“It’s definitely difficult but I’m very lucky. My family makes sure that I have all the opportunity to come [to Florida] every week and my school is wonderful about letting me miss Fridays. Heritage is amazing at making sure when I come back from school the horses are ready. Without everyone’s help-and it’s a lot of help-this would not be possible,” Keenan acknowledged.

Hunter competition for week ten of the FTI WEF, sponsored by Horseware Ireland, concludes Sunday with the Autism Speaks Children’s Large Pony Hunter, hosted in Ring 12 of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The $33,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic will complete the week in the International Arena. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

Photo Credit: Photos © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.

Ben Maher and Quiet Easy 4 Take Top Prize in $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Speed

Tim Gredley and Unex Valente Win $10,000 Puissance;
Whitecap and Mary-Katherine Shaughnessy Triumph in Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 51+ Division

Wellington, FL – March 15, 2013 – Week ten of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by Horseware Ireland, continued on Friday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) with a win for Great Britain’s Ben Maher and Quiet Easy 4 in the highlight $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m speed class. In an exciting finish, Maher just edged out Canada’s Eric Lamaze and Wang Chung M2S for the win with Japan’s Eiken Sato and Viva finishing in third.

On Friday evening at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival at The Stadium at PBIEC, a fantastic $10,000 Puissance high jump competition was also featured along with the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle presented by Horseware Ireland. Great Britain’s Tim Gredley and Unex Valente and Germany’s Johannes Ehining and Salvador V went head to head over the ever-increasing wall with Gredley winning in four rounds at a final height of 6’11” (2.10m). Gredley then went on to attempt 7’6″ (2.31m).

Week ten’s FTI WEF competition runs March 13-17 featuring CSI 3* competition. Highlights include the $82,000 Horseware Ireland CSI 3* Grand Prix on Saturday and the $33,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday. The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival features 12 weeks of competition running from January 9-March 31, 2013, and will be awarding almost $7 million in prize money throughout the circuit.

Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany set the speed track for Friday’s $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m class in the International Arena at PBIEC with 43 entries competing. Fifteen were able to clear the course without fault and the times got faster and faster as the list went on. In the end, Ben Maher and Mrs. Phillips’ Quiet Easy 4 won it with their time of 60.69 seconds. Eric Lamaze and Wang Chung M2S, owned by Morningside Stud and Torrey Pines Stables, were just behind in 60.92 seconds. Eiken Sato and Stephex Stables’ Viva finished third in 62.06 seconds. Meagan Nusz (USA) and Amalaya Investments’ Vesuvius were fourth in 62.62 seconds.

Ben maher and quiet easy

Ben Maher and Quiet Easy 4. Photo © Sportfot.

When Maher originally finished his round, the clock on the scoreboard showed that his time was slower than Lamaze, but a review by the judges determined that he was in fact faster.

“I landed after the last fence and I saw it was around 59 seconds and you obviously need to run a little bit to get to the timers, but then the clock said I was 61 seconds and I was sure it had run on a little,” Maher explained. “When I came out the judges were already discussing it. They said that it did run late and they went to the backup time, which was noticeably different, so luckily it worked out.”

With a busy schedule showing in other rings, Maher did not get to watch the beginning of the class, but showed up just in time to see Lamaze’s round.

“These classes you just do what you can and know what you can’t do it,” he noted. “I had some other horses going in another ring, but luckily I watched Eric just before I went, so I knew I had to kind of do the same as him and take time off where I knew I could. He was quick places that I knew I couldn’t be, so I just did my own thing and Quiet Easy jumped fantastic today. He was great from the first fence. He warmed up well, so I thought we had a good chance.”

“It was a good course,” Maher stated. “It had a lot more turns today and a little bit more options of how tight you wanted to go and to turn, so that suited my horse. I think I was pretty quick one, two, three, but it was all within less than a second, so I don’t think we really got it any place in particular. He was just quick the whole way.”

Quiet Easy’s barn name, Roary, is quite fitting. Owner Emma Phillips was in Wellington today to watch his winning round and explained that he is named after the British cartoon, Roary the Racing Car, about a young, energetic red race car. Phillips was pleased to be in town to see her horse earn a great win.

“It was special for us because we just flew in this weekend,” she smiled. “We have been here before over the years, but not for this season, so it was really nice to be able to see him win. It was nice for my husband too because he never sees him win.”

Maher laughed, “Every time Mr. Phillips comes, they always knock a jump down, so finally they won a class.”

“I haven’t seen them for such a long time and then they arrive and the horse wins, so it could not have worked out any better,” Maher acknowledged. “He has been great. He loves Florida and he has had some great results. We’ll save him for the last two 1.50m classes now.”

ben maher with ribbon

Ben Maher and Quiet Easy 4 in their winning presentation with ringmaster Cliff Haines and Carolina and Gustavo Mirabal of G&C Farm. Photo © Sportfot.

Final Results: $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m

1. QUIET EASY 4: 2004 Oldenburg gelding by Quidams Rubin x Zapateado
BEN MAHER (GBR), Mrs. Phillips: 0/60.69

2. WANG CHUNG M2S: 2003 KWPN stallion by Royal Bravour x Ahorn

ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Morningside Stud & Torrey Pines Stable: 0/60.92

3. VIVA: 2002 KWPN mare by Corrado x Nimmerdor
EIKEN SATO (JPN), Stephex Stables: 0/62.06

4. VESUVIUS: 2002 KWPN gelding by Numero Uno x Expert

MEAGAN NUSZ (USA), Amalaya Investments: 0/62.62

5. KAID DU RY: 1998 Selle Francais gelding by Brett Saint Clair x Royal Ardent
ALISE OKEN (USA), Hi Hopes Farm LLC: 0/63.02

6. MADEMOISELLE: 1997 Holsteiner Mare by Libertino I x Silvester

BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/63.81

7. WHISPER: 2003 KPWN gelding by Zandor Z x Hugo

TAIZO SUGITANI (JPN), TS-Showjumping GmbH: 0/65.55

8. ZERO: N/A
LAURA KRAUT (USA), Chris Sorensen: 0/67.25

9. QUEL PACHA: 2004 Selle Francais gelding by Gadget Du Banney x Alligator Fontaine
BRIANNE GOUTAL (USA), Santiago Diaz: 0/68.72

10. CAPALL ZIDANE: 2004 KWPN gelding by Concorde x Baloubet du RouetRONAN MCGUIGAN (IRL), Ronan McGuigan: 0/68.97

11. NORLAM DES ESTISSES: 2001 Selle Francais stallion by Quidam de Revel x Uriel
EIKEN SATO (JPN), Stephex Stables: 0/69.47

12. SHOWGIRL: 2000 Selle Francais mare by Gold De Becourt x Elf III

JONATHAN ASSELIN (CAN), Attache Stables: 71.24

Tim Gredley and Unex Valente Jump Great Heights in $10,000 Puissance

The $10,000 Puissance high jump competition was held on Friday evening at The Stadium at PBIEC prior to the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle presented by Horseware Ireland for the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Great Britain’s Tim Gredley and Unex Valente and Germany’s Johannes Ehning and Salvador V went head to head over the wall in four rounds of competition with Gredley winning at a final height of 6’11” (2.10m).

tim gredley next to wall

Tim Gredley and Unex Valente in their winning presentation with Equestrian Sport Productions’ Mark and Katherine Bellissimo and ringmaster Cliff Haines.
Photo © Sportfot.

The competition was held as a fun exhibition with slightly modified rules. The two competitors were allotted up to five rounds (first round and four jump-offs) with two attempts at the wall in each round if necessary. The wall began at 5’4″ (1.65m) in round one with both horses and riders jumping clear in one attempt. It then went up to 5’11” (1.85m) with two more clear rounds. In round three, Gredley and Valente cleared the 6’5″ (1.95m) wall on the first try and Ehning and Salvador took two attempts to jump the obstacle. Once the wall went up to 6’11” (2.10m) in round four, Gredley jumped clear, and Ehning opted to withdraw. Gredley earned the winning $7,000 for his effort and then, in an exciting twist, decided to jump higher.

Equestrian Sport Productions’ CEO Mark Bellissimo offered up $10,000 more if Gredley could clear the wall at 7’6″ (2.31m) or $5,000 just for attempting it. Gredley and Valente made two valiant efforts but rubbed the blocks off the top in both tries. They still came out of the day with $12,000 and a great experience.

Unex Valente, owned by Unex Competition Yard, is an eleven-year-old KWPN gelding by Gentleman x Sit This One Out that Gredley has had since the horse was four. The pair has a lot of grand prix experience together, but has only shown in one other Puissance, winning over 7′ and also attempting 7’6″ in Kentucky this past fall.

tim jumping wall

Tim Gredley and Unex Valente jump 7’6″.
Photo © Sportfot.

“I did the indoors in Washington and Harrisburg and Kentucky and I just thought I would try it once in Kentucky and straight away, the first round, he felt like he was going to be a good one,” Gredley stated. “This is only the second one that he has done, but both times he has just been unlucky at 7’6″. I know the horse; I have had him a long time and it makes a big difference when you can trust them a little bit.”

“He is really easy actually,” Gredley added. “Other horses that I have done in Puissance classes before, they normally start backing off, but he just keeps the same stride all the way down and he actually starts to take you, which makes it a lot easier. In hindsight, maybe I was a little bit off the first time. I was a little bit unlucky the second time, but he is just a really nice horse.”

Johannes Ehining’s mount Salvador V is a fourteen-year-old KWPN stallion by Calvados x Voltaire, owned by Nybor Pferde GmbH & Co. KG. The pair has had great grand prix success and this was their first time attempting the Puissance wall.

“For my horse, I rode him also once in a derby qualification in Hamburg and he is super brave, so I thought that maybe he could do it,” Ehning stated. “This was the first time, but I wanted to try it once with him. He is fourteen years old now; he has enough experience for that, so there was reason to try it once.”

“This is my best horse,” Ehning said. “In the last few years he has had a lot of good results in the grand prix. He has won four and five-star grand prix. I rode a few six-bars with him and he won a lot of those, so it was a good thing to try it here. That is also the reason that I didn’t go more rounds though, because he is my best horse and I didn’t want to over ride him. Tim’s horse looked really comfortable with the wall and mine was really getting a little bit hot. I didn’t want to do too much with him.”

Both riders enjoyed coming to the dressage facility at The Stadium at PBIEC for a change of scenery for their horses and a new experience.

“It was really well organized, it was no problem at all,” Ehning noted. “We talked about getting to ride in the really nice indoor and this ring is also nice, so it is something different.”

first and second puissance

Johannes Ehning with Salvador V and Tim Gredley with Unex Valente and ringmaster Cliff Haines.
Photo © Sportfot.

Whitecap and Mary-Katherine Shaughnessy Triumph in Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 51+ Division

Mary-Katherine Shaughnessy and her sixteen-year-old Trakehner gelding, Whitecap, jumped to tricolor honors in the Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 51+ Division during week ten of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). With the points widely spread across the division, Whitecap and Shaughnessy emerged as champions after consistent over fences performances. The pair was second and eighth over fences on day one of competition and first and eighth over fences on day two. Reserve champion was Sandra Epstein aboard her own Pembroke. Epstein piloted Pembroke to fourth and third places over fences on day one of competition.

mary katherine shaun

Whitecap and Mary-Katherine Shaughnessy. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography.

At age 16, Whitecap is a seasoned veteran of the FTI WEF, where he has also competed in Junior and First and Second Year Hunter divisions before being purchased by Shaughnessy two years ago. “I think his age is an advantage. For me, I like the older ones. Before him, I had a hunter that was very spooky and unreliable and it took away from my ability to progress,” Shaughnessy commented.

Throughout the course of their partnership, Whitecap has yet to put a foot wrong for Shaughnessy in the ring. “He’s never stopped, knock on wood! He will find a way to get over it. We don’t have many bad jumps anymore, but the first year I had him there were a few more bumps. He always found a way to get over it. He’s just a very honest horse,” Shaughnessy explained.

Shaughnessy admits Whitecap can be bored by routine work at his age, but only because he revels being in the spotlight of competition. “He’s very sweet, but he has an ego. When we come to the show, there’s a 20% increase in his energy level! The show ring is where he wants to be,” she smiled.

“He’s a very talented horse. He excels being at a show. He perks up in the ring. When you see him at home he’s just a big chestnut with floppy ears. But when he’s all braided up, he looks very elegant in the show ring. He puffs up a bit,” Shaughnessy continued.

Shaughnessy believes Whitecap’s love for the show ring combined with a naturally correct way of going is what keeps them in the ribbons at a show as competitive as the FTI WEF. “He has a very nice rhythm and is naturally a beautiful mover. He has a very even and correct jump and he makes it easy for me to just guide him around and let him do his job,” Shaughnessy stated.

Shaughnessy also enjoys the camaraderie of Adult Amateur division. “We’re all still very competitive, otherwise we’d just be out trail riding somewhere instead of showing,” Shaughnessy laughed. “It adds something and a lot of us become good friends. It makes a nice difference. Maybe it’s just because we’re older and we realize we’re lucky to be here.”

Week ten of the FTI WEF, sponsored by Horseware Ireland, will continue Saturday with the Antarés Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division, hosted in the Rost Arena of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). The $82,000 Horseware Ireland CSI 3* Grand Prix will be featured in the International Arena at 7:30 p.m. For full results, please visit http://www.showgroundslive.com.

Photo Credit: Photos © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com, and Anne Gittins Photography, An Official Photographer of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, http://www.annegittins.com. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.

Wellington Equestrian Partners and Tequestrian Farms Announce Grant to Gluck Equine Research Center for Study of EHV-1

Wellington, FL – March 14, 2013 – Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEP) and Tequestrian Farms are pleased to announce a joint partnership to donate $100,000 for a research grant to the Gluck Equine Research Center at the University of Kentucky. The money will be earmarked toward research of the EHV-1 neurologic disease. A special Veterinary Committee is planned, and WEP and Tequestrian will also lead in gathering information for established protocols for owners, treating veterinarians, and horse show managers to prevent and neutralize EHV-1 at equestrian events.

Tom Tisbo, owner of Tequestrian Farms, stated, “We are interested in helping to fund new EHV-1 research after our experience with a false-positive case. The ongoing problems the equine community in the United States has faced with EHV-1 and its impact on the horse are a sign that more work needs to be done to understand this devastating disease.”

With the news of more cases of EHV-1 in the United States and the potential impact on horse welfare, WEP and their operating entity, Equestrian Sport Productions, believe that research to understand the “wild strain” of the disease, whether the “wild strain” is mutating, established protocols on veterinary care, and uniform biosecurity measures at horse shows are of paramount importance.

To that end, WEP and Tequestrian will be donating $100,000 to research that hopes to address the following points:

  • Determine the virulence of the virus during an outbreak

  • Give an understanding of the molecular basis of the neurologic disease

  • Improve the techniques for diagnosis of EHV-1

  • Provide a basis for the development of more effective vaccines

“The Tisbos approached me with the idea of helping the equestrian industry become more informed about EHV-1,” said ESP CEO and WEP Managing Partner Mark Bellissimo. “We think a grant to Gluck is a great first step and hope that with a Veterinary Committee’s assistance, we can start the conversation of getting universal protocols for the prevention and treatment of this disease. We want to make sure that all of the horses coming to our horse shows are healthy, but also help determine the best way to apply standard measures at events. We want to learn from our recent experience and not look back, but forward, in order to get the best from a bad situation.”

With the instance of a false-positive test at Tequestrian Farms, the situation of dealing with incorrect information is one that the Tisbo family want to help others avoid. Tequestrian Farms was released from quarantine on Monday, March 4, by the State of Florida Veterinarians when it was determined the the horse in question had never tested positive for the strain of the EHV-1 virus that has created such concern in Ocala.

The original positive blood test was found to be a false positive as supported by several subsequent negative nasal and blood tests. Additionally, all Tequestrian horses at their Wellington facility, including the horse in question, have been retested with Negative results. None of the horses at this facility had ever shown any neurological signs and are completely healthy. An independent veterinarian with a PhD in virology and a specialist in infectious disease has confirmed these findings and supported the State Veterinarian’s decision to lift the quarantine.

With this instance, it became clear that proper veterinary protocols need to be established for treating veterinarians at all horse shows to follow.

“Our goal is to help elevate the standard of the industry, protect horse welfare, protect the sport, and protect communities where shows operate. With the capability and possible consequences of this disease, it’s in everyone’s best interests to learn more and be on the same page,” Bellissimo explained.

Making recommendations to horse show management is Dr. Robert Holland DVM, PhD, an expert on infectious diseases of the horse.

“I look forward to this much needed project, and am grateful to Tequestrian Farms and Wellington Equestrian Partners for their generous donation,” Holland said.

While Tequestrian Farms and WEP have pledged $100,000 to the research grant, other donations are welcome. Those who wish to help can contact Equestrian Sport Productions at 561-793-5867 for more information.

For more information on the Gluck Equine Research Center, please visit www.ca.uky.edu/gluck.