Sydney Shulman Gallops Ardente Printaniere to Victory in $37k Dever Golf Cars 1.45m Speed CSI4*

Sydney Shulman and Ardente Printaniere ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – November 28, 2020 – The ESP Holiday & Horses CSI4* continued for its penultimate day of competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Saturday, November 28, with the $37,000 Dever Golf Cars 1.45m Speed CSI4*. Jumping to two top-five placings in the class, Sydney Shulman (ISR) finished the day on a high note with a victory on Jill Shulman’s Ardente Printaniere and a fifth-place result aboard the same owner’s Villamoura.

“She’s older; she’s 15. I bought her from Maarten Huygens and McLain Ward a little over five years ago,” commented Shulman of the winning 2006 Belgian Sporthorse mare by Joyeux Ardent x Ramiro. “She’s wonderful. She’s a bit unconventional but she’s super fast, super consistent, and you can really count on her. She has had some injuries over the years, so she has been on and off a bit. I really want to thank my grooms, Lily Stanbridge and Merri West. They take amazing care of her and she’s quite difficult because she’s unconventional to manage, but they’ve done an amazing job bringing her back from the injuries. They really deserve a lot of the credit.”

For the first and only round of riding in the $37,000 Dever Golf Cars 1.45m Speed CSI4*, course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) challenged the 65 entries with a track of 15 efforts. Sixth in the order, Shulman and Villamoura set the pace as the pathfinders with the first clear trip in 63.29 seconds. Though the leaders were overtaken for a short time by Kent Farrington (USA) and Austria 2, the winners of Wednesday’s $37,000 Holiday & Horses 1.45m Opener CSI4*, Shulman made sure to put herself at the top of the leaderboard once again with her second ride aboard Ardente Printaniere. The duo stopped the clock without any faults in a time of 61.62 seconds as the 39th in the order, leaving 26 partnerships left to chase them down.

“The first horse I rode was Villamoura, who is a speed demon,” reflected Shulman on her two rides. “I got jumped loose in the tack yesterday, so today I went for a little more conservative round on her. The winning horse, we call her Prima, only has one way of going and is a bit unconventional, so you kind of just leave her alone and let her do her thing. Most of the time it works out like today. I didn’t think Kent was beatable, so I really had nothing to lose and just tried to do the least amount of strides. She’s a massive mare and she covers the ground, so I was just hoping that she would stay careful enough, which she did.”

Though the remainder of the pack aimed to eclipse the Israeli partnership, none were able to pass their leading time, solidifying Shulman and Ardente Printaniere as the winners. Shulman’s mount has already seen respectable success this year as the winner of the $10,000 Hermes U25 Welcome CSI3* during Week Six of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival and the second-place finisher in the $72,900 Staller Grand Prix CSI2* this past summer in Traverse City, MI. In Saturday’s speed class, Ellen Whitaker (GBR) jumped into second place riding her own Jack Van’t Kattenheye in a clear time of 62.19 seconds, and Farrington and Austria 2 held on for the third spot.

“I’m grateful that we can continue to do what we love to do,” noted Shulman of competing under COVID protocols. “I’m really thankful to the show for allowing it to be safe and feel comfortable to do our job and to have the shows. I think we actually ended up showing more than we would have with FEI shows prior to COVID, so I really feel lucky that we can be outside and be with the horses every day and still compete. It’s a little bit different, but I think everyone is being respectful so we can continue to show.”

Run in the DeNemethy Ring, the $2,550 1.35m Jumper Speed Stake, presented by Cabana Coast, ran concurrently with the CSI4* class in the International Arena in the morning. Run over one round, the contest gave competitors just one chance to try to cross the timer quickly without any faults, and Annie Bolling of Fair Hope, AL made use of her opportunity with the fastest ride on her own Mykonos SCF. As the second-to-last pair to ride, they were up against a leading clear time of 66.16 seconds, but improved upon that time with ease to break the beam fault-free in 64.54 seconds to capture victory. Maggie Jayne of Elgin, IL and Alex Jayne’s Arizona ODF claimed second place with their time of 66.16 seconds, and Dana Gattuso of Stockton, NJ rode her own Halocia to third position in a clear time of 74.09 seconds.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Kent Farrington and Austria 2 Land the $37,000 Holiday & Horses 1.45m Opener CSI4*

Kent Farrington and Austria 2. ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – November 25, 2020 – International competition returned to the main grounds of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) to kick off the ESP Holiday Series with the $37,000 Holiday & Horses 1.45m Opener CSI4*, presented by Dover Saddlery, on Wednesday, November 25.

Course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) created a track of 15 efforts for the class, which was run under an altered power-and-speed format. The first nine fences constituted the first phase, and the final six jumps made up the second phase, with riders continuing to the latter portion of the course even if they had faults in the first set of obstacles. Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) and Cadans Z, owned by Starlight Farms 1 LLC, set the bar as seventh in the order with a speedy second phase time of 27.717 seconds and held on to that position until Kent Farrington (USA) and Austria 2 flew through the speed phase in 25.999 seconds. Less than a second behind the second-place finisher was Andrew Bourns (IRL) and his own Darquito, who landed in third with a clear time of 27.836 seconds.

“This will be my second WEF with Austria 2. I’ve been riding her for two years now,” remarked Farrington of the 2008 Holsteiner mare by Casall x Corrado I owned by Take the High Road, LLC. “She’s been an amazing little horse; she wins tons of classes. She has jumped some huge grand prix classes, she’s fast enough to win a speed class, and she’s brave enough to win the top ten final at Geneva. I think that really shows her versatility and her heart.”

Although Farrington will be showing all week, he shared that he does intend to have family time on Thanksgiving. “My mom and my sister are both here, so I always try to spend a little time with my family,” he said.” I’m thankful for the team here that has put protocols in place that allow us to compete under these circumstances. I feel very fortunate to be here.”

The day began with the $1,000 Bainbridge 1.40m CSI4*, which had 53 entries compete over the first-round course. Time proved to be a factor as 19 pairs were kept from the jump-off due to only one or two time faults, still leaving a whopping 24 fault-free teams eligible for the jump-off, 21 of which were double clear. In the end, Liubov Kochetova (RUS) emerged victorious riding her own Trevita (Graf Top x Stakkato) in a time of 32.72 seconds. The duo saved the best for last as the final partnership to ride over the abridged jump-off pattern, just edging out second-place finishers Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Artisan Farms LLC’s Vienna, who finished the course in 33.53 seconds. Anna Dryden (USA) rounded out the top three aboard Van Schijndel’s Double Bee, owned by Double Meadows Farm LLC, in 33.93 seconds.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Old Friends Welcomes Tom’s Ready

GEORGETOWN, KY – November 23, 2020 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY, is proud to welcome multiple graded stakes winner Tom’s Ready.

The 7-year-old son of More Than Ready — Goodbye Stranger, by Broad Brush, stood initially at Spendthrift Farm and then at Red River Farms in Louisiana.

Bred in Pennsylvania and campaigned by the late Tom Benson’s GMB Racing and trainer Dallas Stewart, Tom’s Ready broke his maiden in his third start as a 2-year-old at Churchill Downs, and followed that win with a close 2nd in the Street Sense Stakes.

A second-place finish to Gun Runner in the Louisiana Derby (G2) qualified Tom’s Ready for the Kentucky Derby, where he finished 12th behind winner Nyquist.

But his career apex came the following year when he captured the 2016 $500,000 Woody Stephens Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park.  He went on to defeat older horses, including champion sprinter Runhappy, in the Ack Ack Stakes (G3), again at Churchill. He ended the season with a fifth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

At 4, he captured the Leemat Stakes at Presque Isle Downs and the Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) at Belmont Park.

Tom’s Ready retires with earnings of $1,036,267.

“I truly respect and appreciate the great work of the staff at Old Friends as we have come to know Michael Blowen and his great work,” said GMB Racing’s Gayle Benson. “We have had St. Aloysius there for a number of years, and it gives us great pleasure to have our wonderful Tom’s Ready retire to Old Friends. He was our first purchase, he is a Grade II winner, and he raced in the Kentucky Derby and the Breeder’s Cup, so we are very proud of him and he is deserving of the great care that Old Friends will provide.”

“We’re honored to add Tom’s Ready to our other old friends,” said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen. “I’m certain that his many fans will be very excited to see him when we, hopefully, open for tours post-virus. Meanwhile, he already has his head in the carrot bucket.”

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit www.oldfriendsequine.org.

Olympic Medalist Anne Kursinski Brings Riders Back to Basics at Rutledge Farm Sessions

Photo: Paige Cade.

Middleburg, Va. – Nov. 23, 2020 – To close out the 2020 season, Rutledge Farm welcomed Olympic medalist Anne Kursinski Saturday, Nov. 21 to host an exclusive one-day clinic as a part of the Rutledge Farm Sessions clinic series. Kursinski brought decades of experience with her, including five Olympic show jumping campaigns that earned her two team silver medals. Welcoming riders from all skill levels to the picturesque property in Middleburg, Virginia, Kursinski brought riders back to the basics on the flat and over fences, including dropping their stirrups, mastering the automatic release and building a stronger awareness of how they work with their horses.

Kursinski commented, “I have been teaching for a long time, so it is about quickly finding the riders’ weaknesses to give them some tools and exercises that can help with their awareness. I think that is so important. In our short amount of time, my goal is to get them to try to change something or improve something and it’s rewarding when they feel more confident afterwards by having a few new tools to take home.”

Four groups and a total of 18 riders traveled to Rutledge Farm to learn from Kursinski’s vast experience. In the spirit of “No Stirrup November,” Kursinski asked riders to drop their stirrups on the flat in order to build a strong foundation for the exercises to follow. Riders were also asked to knot their reins for a portion of the flatwork, a tool Kursinski utilizes to build awareness and encourage quick corrections. Over fences, riders practiced with driving reins and an automatic release to learn body control and work in sync with their horses.

Amber Ide commented on her experience, saying, “I’ve only owned my horse for one week, but I feel like a lot of the exercises we did, like halting and having them listen on the back side, really helped me get to know him better. It’s a really awesome opportunity to ride with Anne Kursinski, and this facility is gorgeous. There is so much land, the footing is great, the jumps are great, and it’s really an awesome facility to have a clinic like this.”

“Rutledge Farm is a fabulous, beautiful facility,” Kursinski added. “And of course, Aleco [Bravo-Greenberg] is so enthusiastic in wanting to share the education with people and that is wonderful in our business to have somebody like that. It’s fabulous to help riders become better horsemen and to be better for the horses. To me education is about the riders, but it is really about how the riders are improving with their horses and making their lives better.”

For more information about the Rutledge Farm Sessions, click here.

Tell Senators to Uphold the PAST Act

American Horse Council learned in late October that one animal welfare group and a handful of people from the walking horse industry have been meeting and circulating a proposed Senate “compromise” bill which would substantially alter the PAST Act (S. 1007).  The current version of the PAST Act lays out a common-sense solution to prevent the continued practice of soring and is limited in scope to Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses, and Spotted Saddle Horses.  Unlike the streamlined, 12-page bill that passed the House by an overwhelming majority in 2019, the so-called “compromise” bill is more than triple the size and includes detailed inspection procedures, among other provisions not vetted by the horse industry.  Furthermore, the “compromise” includes language that could open other horse breeds to regulation, therefore undermining the laser-like focus of the PAST Act, as written.

As lawmakers wrap up their end of year business, contact your senators today and tell them to oppose any “compromise” bill that would alter the provisions of the PAST Act (S. 1007), as written and introduced in the Senate.

American Horse Council
www.horsecouncil.org

Farrington Leads the Way with Orafina at SFHJA Charity Horse Show

Kent Farrington and Orafina. ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – November 23, 2020 – Held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) from November 18-22, the 70th Annual South Florida Hunter Jumper Association (SFHJA) Charity Horse Show concluded Sunday following a week of exciting competition. The show was the final installment at PBIEC before the beginning of the ESP Holiday Series, which starts November 24, the first day of the Holiday & Horses CSI4*.

Saturday afternoon featured the highlight jumper event of the competition as Kent Farrington (USA) and his own Orafina jumped to the top of the leaderboard in the $50,000 Spy Coast & Sweet Oak Farm Grand Prix. The 16-effort course set by Eric Hasbrouck (USA) in the International Arena saw 53 horse-and-rider partnerships contest the track, with nine athletes successfully turning in fault-free rounds to advance to the jump-off. Mario Deslauriers (CAN) led the way, and he was soon joined by Ilan Bluman (COL), Santiago Lambre (MEX), Schuyler Riley (USA), and Erynn Ballard (CAN) by the halfway point. In the latter portion of the pack, Willie Tynan (IRL), Kent Farrington (USA), Ashley Vogel (USA), and Ashley Fleischhacker (USA) also added their names to the list.

Following faults from the first five partnerships, Tynan and Michelle Guardino’s Fancy Girl finally turned in the initial clear round of the jump-off as the sixth duo to go in a time of 41.51 seconds to claim the early lead over the abridged pattern. Their top spot did not hold long though, as Farrington and Orafina were the next to follow and galloped to a foot-perfect time of 40.58 seconds. Tynan and Fancy Girl retained the second spot, followed by Fleischhacker on Quadros 3, owned by Ashland Show Stables LLC, in a clear time of 44.817 seconds, the final double-clear partnership.

“Orafina is a great young talent,” commented Farrington of the eight-year-old KWPN mare by For Fashion x Canturo. “She doesn’t have a lot of experience, certainly not like this. Really hats off to the team here that keeps these shows going for us and allows us to keep doing our job and our sport. Early in the season like this, it’s great for these young horses to get into the main ring. Tonight they even got a little taste of going under the lights. All in all, even besides the win, this was a great experience for my horse.”

Saturday’s victory was the second major win for Farrington and Orafina of the week, after also topping the $15,000 Paul Tracy Farrier Services Welcome Stake on Thursday as the quickest clear pair from the 14-horse jump-off. As the second duo to navigate the short course, designed by Hasbrouck, Farrington and Orafina served as the pathfinders with the first double-clear ride of the day, setting a lightning-fast precedent in 38.04 seconds. As the second round of riding progressed with 12 more combinations, it became clear that the frontrunners’ time would hold to claim the top spot by nearly two full seconds.

“Somebody that I work with in Europe, Leon Thijssen, said he had a horse that he thought I would like and would work for me because it’s extremely careful,” remarked Farrington of the new relationship with Orafina. “The plans are to build her up, just like always. Keep doing what we are doing by giving her positive experiences and time to mature. We will let her grow into herself. It was a great first step tonight.”

Though Mark Bluman (COL) and Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) managed to stop the timers slightly quicker than the winning pair, they both did so at the expense of a downed rail to incur four faults. Riding Stone Hill Farm’s Hungry Heart, Jessica Springsteen (USA) earned second place with a clear time of 39.81 seconds, and Jonathon Millar (CAN) rounded out the podium in third aboard Shadow De Shalimar, owned by Isotropic Networks Inc.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Emma Butchard and Andre Nagata Earn Success in Panningen, The Netherlands

Photo: Emma Butchard and Cascada K.

Nov. 21, 2020 — The sun has set on another full day of work at Nagata Sport Horses in Panningen, The Netherlands. But Emma Butchard (USA) and Andre Nagata (BRA) can still be found in the barn.

The couple, partners in both business and in life, take the term “hands on” very seriously. After bringing home a top placing, they celebrate by cleaning stalls. Each morning, there’s an early wake-up call to drop feed, turn out the horses and clean the stalls again — all before even getting to the real work of training their string of 12 horses.

Don’t be mistaken. A quick look at Butchard and Nagata’s impressive resumes of top international placings reveals a pair that has already paid their dues in the industry. But these two riders believe in earning their success, both in and out of the saddle.

“We’re focused on the details,” Butchard said. “Andre is very much into the details in the arena, setting courses, improving groundwork with the horses, and training on the flat. I’m very detail-oriented with the management of the barn and planning for our string. We do everything together, and we complement each other really well.”

It’s a mindset that has served them especially well in 2020, as FEI competition in Holland has come to a temporary halt for the second time due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The monthly FEI shows at the local Peelbergen Equestrian Center have been replaced with Training CSI shows, where local operations can school their horses in a competitive environment. Butchard and Nagata have taken advantage of the opportunity, bringing their entire competition string, including their young horses, for positive training experiences at the popular show venue. At home, they commit extra time to flatwork and even groundwork, as they work with a specialist in studying the way their horses move and use their bodies.

“We’ve been focusing on dressage work, which for me, I didn’t learn a whole lot of when I was in the U.S. Andre’s very good at it,” Butchard said. “We’ve also set several gymnastic exercises at home. It’s been great to practice.

“Peelbergen’s Training CSI shows have also been really nice,” she continued. “It’s calm and quiet at the venue, and the courses are still tough enough. They don’t go easy on that!”

Butchard and Nagata combined their respective Leatherstocking Farm and Nagata Sport Horses operations in the spring of 2019, when Butchard relocated from her longtime base in Wellington, FL. Together, the pair runs a boutique dealing barn, with a focus on developing equine talent for top sport.

“We have some horses that we’re producing and taking our time with that don’t have to be sold right away, and then some horses that are in and out more quickly for sale,” Butchard explained.

“It’s so nice to work with the horses and to see them improve,” she added. “It’s such a great feeling. We recently took our 4-year-old Itran to his first show, and it was so fun and so rewarding when he put in such a lovely round and was so professional — he acted like a saint! Then it’s nice to be competitive [with our more experienced mounts] in the international shows.”

Butchard was a regular on the international circuit in the eastern United States. She competed at the 2016 U-25 Final at the National Horse Show as well as the Open Jumper division at the historic Washington International Horse Show. The year 2017 produced many more top performances in what was surely a breakout year for the now-27-year-old: Emma and top mount Brasil (Tenerife VDL x Farrington) placed in CSI4* competition at both the Devon Horse Show and the Hampton Classic.

While Brasil took some time off in 2018, Butchard sought an opportunity to grow as a professional and set her sights on Europe. The timing was right; she met Nagata, who was in the process of relocating to Holland, shortly thereafter. A six-month stint turned into a permanent move, and both Brasil and Butchard’s other international mount Cascada K (Calido I x Lacros) have joined her across the pond.

“Cassi has really thrived over here and has benefitted from the extra dressage and flatwork that Andre has made such an important part of our program,” Butchard said. “Brasil is doing great and getting fit. I’m excited to get back to FEI shows with both of them.”

Butchard and Nagata boast a talented group of equines, ranging from 4 to 14 in age.

The 4-year-old Itran (Indoctro x Balou) is a special source of excitement. The tall gelding quickly made an impression on the Nagata Sport Horses team, displaying a poise well beyond his age and scope worthy of big things.

“He’s for sale, but we are also sort of producing him. He’s a big, young horse and needs some time to grow, but he’s capable, brave, and scopey for sure,” Butchard said.

Kara des Rosiers (Kannan x Papillon Rouge), two years Itran’s elder, stands out for her style; Butchard and Nagata think she will be a quick study. “She’s a really commercial type; she’s easy and brave,” Butchard said. “We’re not sure how high she’ll jump, but she’s going to do it well. She’s very careful. She just goes right around, nice and easy.”

Icarus (Quasimodo Z x Campbell VDL), a 7-year-old, is another exciting young prospect in the group — “very scopey,” as described by Nagata. More experienced mounts like Calviska de la Felize (Calvados Z x Papillon Rouge), currently located at Nagata’s brother Felipe’s Italy-based operation, and Cascada K are also for sale as Butchard and Nagata look to grow the sales side of their business.

There are bigger aspirations, of course. But if anything is certain during a year of unprecedented changes, it’s this: Butchard and Nagata are willing to put in the work required to achieve whatever they set their minds to.

“My long term goal is to still be able to ride for Team USA in Nations Cups and Championships, while having a successful business with Andre,” she said. “One thing that’s different about being in Europe is that in the U.S., I was always surrounded by my family and close friends, who supported me at home — training and at every show. Here, it is just Andre and me, except the one time my family visited for during Brasil’s CSI1* comeback last year. Andre and I can support each other through the good days and bad days, when we need a little extra push or support.”

Leatherstocking Farm & Nagata Sport Horses
www.leatherstockingfarm.com

Matthias Hollberg and D.A. Duras Earn Double Victory at Tryon Fall Festival 2

Matthias Hollberg and D.A. Duras ©TIEC/Bailey Beck Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 20, 2020 – Matthias Hollberg (Ocala, FL) and D.A. Duras sped to double victory at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) last week, topping the podium in both the $15,000 Tryon Resort Jumper Classic on Sunday and the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake on Friday. In the Jumper Classic, Hollberg piloted D.A. Duras to a winning time of 37.438. Second place was awarded to Lynsey Whitacre (Saint Joseph, MO) aboard her own Barillo W, the 2003 Canadian Warmblood gelding (Unknown x Unknown), with a time of 37.817. John Michael Durr (Shelby, NC) and Marissa Nielsen’s Vinetta M, the 2009 Hanoverian mare (Valentino x Parodie M), rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 38.251.

Hollberg and D.A. Duras, 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Numero Uno x Quattro) owned by Debbie J. Adams & Jacqueline Badger Mars, challenged 14 entries on the course designed by Joe Carnicom (Toledo, OH). An ex-Event horse, Hollberg has been training his new mount to be a top-level show jumper and is consistently pleased with his performance.

“Duras [D.A. Duras] is a 12-year-old ex-Event horse that I just got the ride on three months ago. I’m planning to make him into a high-level jumper and then sell him. I’m lucky to have him. He wins pretty much every class he goes in! For the first month or two, we were just getting to know each other. Now, he’s on the job every time he goes in the ring,” shared Hollberg.

Merideth Bryans and Jaguar Win $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

November 14, 2020 – Merideth Bryans (Newborn, GA) and Jaguar topped the podium at the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby earning 79 points in round one and 89 in the handy round to end with a score of 168. Second place went to Alexandra Dow (Matthews, NC) and Sally Watkins’ Maxumus, the 2012 Rheinlander gelding (Magnum x Octavia), with 158 points. Genevieve Edwards (Guyton, GA) guided JoJo Howland’s Star Jewel, the 2010 Oldenburg mare (Amazing x Quinta) to a third-place score of 155.

Seven entries tested TIEC’s final hunter derby course of 2020 designed by Dean Rheinheimer (Sheridan, IN) and Bryans praised her and Jaguar’s experience.

“The course was great. I loved the first round. [Jaguar] always lands on his right lead, so I knew landing left on the two bending lines was going to be challenging for us, but we worked it out. The first round was nice. In the handy round, I knew going from one to two was going to be a gamble with the right turn, but again, he lands better [on the right lead], so I opted to take the chance. It paid off!” explained Bryans.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Vote for Your Favorite US Groom and Athletes in the 2020 FEI Awards

Photo: Nina Lamsam Ligon.

This year, the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) Awards will be fully online and virtual. 55 winners from previous FEI Awards are open for your nominations in each of the five categories. Throughout the voting period until November 22, nominees have the opportunity to promote themselves in order to obtain a maximum number of votes. The results of the public vote count for 100% of the votes. The winners will be announced during a virtual ceremony on December 11.

Cast your votes for your favorite U.S. groom and athletes by November 22!

Cavalor FEI Best Groom

Since 2009, the FEI Awards have celebrated great grooms and their dedication to their horses and their athletes. From famous partnerships to successful and long-term careers, who should be crowned best of the decade?

  • Lee McKeever
    Jumping (Groom to McLain Ward)
  • Jose Eduardo (Eddie) Garcia Luna
    Dressage (Groom to Steffen Peters)

FEI Against All Odds

Resilience and determination barely scratch the surface when you look back at our FEI Against All Odds winners since 2009. They all deserve our respect and admiration, but who should be adding a second FEI Awards trophy to their collection?

  • Sydney Collier
    Para Dressage
  • Courtney King-Dye
    Dressage

Longines FEI Rising Star

This category has celebrated outstanding performances and dedication by the next generation of athletes – all aged 14-21 at the time of their Awards win – with many going on to become household names. Who is your ultimate rising star?

  • Reed Kessler
    Jumping
  • Caroline Roffman
    Dressage
  • Nina Lamsam Ligon
    Eventing

© 2020 United States Equestrian Federation

Gleneayre Equestrian Program Reflects on 2020

Lumberton, New Jersey – Nov. 16, 2020 – Since the late 1990s, the Gleneayre Equestrian Program’s (GEP) mission has centered around “bringing horses and people together for the betterment of each other’s lives.” As with many other non-profits, 2020 has been a difficult year to not only continue their mission but also to connect with their current donors and participants. Based out of Lumberton, New Jersey, founders Bob and Ellen Healey have dedicated their lives to growing the program into the success that it has become today. With the GEP now in its 31st year, the Healeys were determined to continue the program’s growth despite of the many challenges that the community has faced.

The GEP is centered on three main programs – the Working Student program, the Equine Facilitated Learning program, and the Mental Health program. The GEP serves a wide range of individuals, including veterans, juvenile first-offenders, and those who are in need of additional support. All of the horses within the GEP are donated, including many former show horses, that have years of purpose left to give.

Due to social distancing regulations and the on-going impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, GEP made the decision to cancel the Gleneayre Horse Show and Hunter Derby in the best interest of their staff and exhibitors. The annual event is the program’s largest fundraiser and an excellent opportunity for GEP to interact with friends and the community.

“Although we were saddened to have to cancel our 2020 Horse Show and Hunter Derby, ultimately we know that it was the right thing to do for the greater good,” remarked Ellen Healey. “We are looking forward to having our event again with renewed energy in 2021!”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Equine Facilitated Learning Program has been put on hold. Fortunately, the Working Student Program is running and currently has openings for qualified children ages 10 to 18. This special program pairs children with their own horses, allowing students to gain knowledge in horsemanship, responsibility, self-confidence, and more.

“The Gleneayre Equestrian Program has a positive impact on its students by providing a place of structure, consistency, and normality during these uncertain times,” said Alison Johnson, Managing Director and Trainer. Jeannie Mattioni, Program Assistant and Trainer, echoed her thoughts by stating, “The Gleneayre Equestrian Program has given our kids a safe sanctuary where they can relieve stress and be outdoors. I think, especially now, we can all understand and appreciate the power that a little bit of normality can have in bringing a smile to our face.”

GEP takes great pride in the fact that all horses entering their programs have a forever home and are able to live out the remainder of their lives with comfort and love. Despite cancellations and program suspensions that were caused by 2020 events, the Gleneayre horses still need care. The programs encourage friends and supporters to consider sponsoring one of their special horses in order to support the unique connection between horses and humans. A charitable contribution $750 will sponsor a horse for 6 months; $1,500 will sponsor a horse for 1 year.

“All horses that enter our programs have a forever home at Gleneayre,” said Executive Director Bill Rube. “Since the cancellation of the 2020 Hunter Derby, we rolled out a Sponsor a Horse Program to help supplement the cost of care for our program horses. If you feel a special connection with one of our horses, consider sponsoring them to show your support! Your generous donation will make a difference in our horses’ lives.”

For more information regarding this opportunity, please click here.

To learn more about GEP’s important mission and current happenings, click here.

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