Late Autumn in Chester County was punctuated by crystalline days, an errant snow and unrelenting weekly rains. Staff and hounds continued to leave the kennels three mornings a week to pursue Mr. Fox. One morning a hard frost covered the Doe Run Valley, every tree, blade of grass and fence rail, with silver. Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds meets every Thanksgiving morning at 11:00 at the Kennel Lawn. The “field” of riders grows to twice its size from the week before, enlarged by students home on break from college, friends and family in from out of town. Non-riding members of the community are encouraged to come out, meet the hounds and watch the hunt take off from the hill overlooking Plantation Field, home to a major Three Day Event competition. The crowd arriving to watch is so large that traffic control is warranted. Some spectators come prepared for a tailgate party.
Sunday, January 15 2012 by Editor
Cincinnati, OH - To cap off a record-setting year, dressage superstar Steffen Peters added one more record to his résumé on Saturday night at the United States Equestrian Federation’s Pegasus Awards dinner. He became the first person to score the USEF’s Equestrian of the Year title three times. Steffen Peters (right)won the William C.Steinkraus Trophy as one of the 2011 Equestrians of Honor and then the Robert P. Strub Trophy (shown here being presented by USEF President David O'Connor on left) as the overall USEF Equestrian of the Year. Photo by Kim MacMillan/MacMillan Photography Peters (San Diego, CA) won the top honor in 2008 and 2009 based largely on his accomplishments with Akiko Yamazaki’s phenom Ravel – but in 2011, Ravel had some help. Peters capitalized on his first trip to the Pan American Games and scored Team and Individual Gold in a tremendous effort with Jen and Bruce Hlavacek’s Weltino’s Magic
Saturday, January 14 2012 by Editor
Cincinnati, OH – For the first time ever, USEF crowned two horses with its highest honor, one from an International Discipline and one from a National Discipline. Neville Bardos and Sjoerd were named 2011 Horses of the Year at tonight’s USEF annual Horse of the Year celebration. Honored for their accomplishments in 2011 their roads through the last 12 months, while both exceptional, have been very different. Videos of all of the Horses of Honor are available here: http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/USEFAnnualMeeting2012 Neville Bardos – Eventing He shouldn’t have lived.
One man’s vision is another man’s abomination, as recent events have proven true in the tiny equestrian village and/or burgeoning international equestrian hub that we all call Wellington. If you’ve been living under a rock these past months, now is the time to crawl out of it and Google “Global Dressage Festival.” Mark Bellissimo and Wellington Equestrian Partners know how to garner attention, and when they announced plans for a sweeping international-caliber competition facility for dressage back in March 2011, heads swiveled so fast around the globe that you could hear the whiplash.
Leibler and Watson 108 Second in Freestyle at the FEI Young Rider World Cup Dressage Final in German
Monday, December 19 2011 by Editor
Lexington, KY - Isabelle Leibler and Watson 108 came in second in Sunday’s B Final in the Freestyle, representing the U.S. at the FEI Young Rider World Cup Dressage Final in Frankfurt, Germany. Leibler (Greenwich, CT) scored 68.700 on the 14-year-old Westphalian gelding, just behind Simona Aeberhard, representing Switzerland. Leibler and Watson 108 were invited to represent the U.S. at the 2011 Finals after posting the highest average in the FEI Young Rider Freestyle Test at CDI-Y’s during the qualifying period. This pair landed in Germany after a strong 2011 campaign that included winning a team Bronze medal and two Gold medals, individual and freestyle, at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Riders Championships presented by Gotham North. Additionally, they were crowned National Young Rider Dressage Champions at the 2011 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Championships
Leibler and Watson 108 Continue on to Freestyle at the FEI Young Rider World Cup Dressage Final in Germany
Saturday, December 17 2011 by Editor
Lexington, KY - Isabelle Leibler and Watson 108 performed flawlessly Friday while representing the U.S. at the FEI Young Rider World Cup Dressage Final Grand Prix, and are moving forward to the B Final on Sunday in the Freestyle. “We were mistake free and I finished the first day very proud of myself and of Watson for staying focused throughout the exciting distractions,” Leibler said. “The competition has been absolutely amazing so far. It is like nothing I have ever seen before: big, bright, and electric.” Isabelle Leibler and Watson 108 National Young Rider Dressage Championships. Photo ©SusanJStickle.com Leibler (Greenwich, CT) and the 14-year-old Westphalian gelding were invited to represent the U.S. at the 2011 Finals after posting the highest average in the FEI Young Rider Freestyle Test at CDI-Y’s during the qualifying period.
Britain’s European Dressage gold medal trio of Laura Bechtolsheimer (Mistral Hojris), Charlotte Dujardin (Valegro) and Carl Hester (Uthopia) took the top three places in the Reem Acra FEI Grand Prix freestyle at Olympia, The London International Horse Show. It was however a close outcome: just 0.5% divided the three and all three scored over 83% making it the highest scoring World Cup qualifier of the 2011-2012 series so far. “The result was a dream come true for British dressage,” said Stephen Clarke, President of the Ground Jury. “The riders did a fantastic job and made us, the judges, work. It was difficult to separate them and with such huge scores.” It was also an historic win for Laura and Mistral Hojris who became the first British winners of the Olympia World Cup qualifier since its inception in 2004 and the first Briton to win a World Cup qualifier freestyle since Jennie Loriston-Clarke and Dutch Gold. Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris.
A Visual Recap of Foxhunting in Cheshire Country, Autumn, 2011 –::– Opening Meet, Formal Hunting, Runnymede Tuesday, November 1, 2011 Formal Hunting moves to 11:00 A.M. in November from 9:00 the previous month. Riders met at St. Malachi Church to park their vehicles and hacked to the Meet at Runnymede, about a mile away, down the hill and a long driveway, along a creek ruled by a venerable Blue Heron. The Joint Masters, Huntsman and Whip, wearing Pinque for the first time this season, are joined by the Field (the riders following the hounds) on the lawn of Runnymede. Runnymede is known for its broad, open fields and sloping terrain, punctuated by fences with gates and coops, with creeks emptying to the Doe Run, and eventually to the Brandywine River. –::– Byrd Road, Webbs Woods Saturday, November 5, 2011 The Meet at Byrd Road encompasses a large woods, Webbs Woods, and is flatter than Runnymede, with many foxes. The Meet is close by the Veterinary School at the University of Pennsylvania, New Bolton. Cheshire encourages family participation and many children join their parents on the hunt
Sure, the 53rd annual Washington International Horse Show (October 23-28, 2011 at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C.) may have been home to such prestigious competitions as the $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix CSI3*-W, the WIHS Equitation Classic Finals and the $25,000 Puissance, but what folks really came out to see was the tough as nails riders who braved the fiercely competitive mutton-busting class. That’s right, Mutton Busting! Show us a rider who will don a full-face helmet, wind their fingers through the rough wool of a writhing sheep and hang on for dear life as said sheep runs for its own, and we’ll show you a true champion. Hats off to all the 2011 WIHS Mutton Busters, and especially to this year’s Mutton Busting Champion, 8-year-old Marissa Jones of River Chase Farm. Out of the gate they came, in a fast-moving blaze of thick wool and hooved fury. . . . . . Some riders kept their eyes bravely forward, determined to tame their mutton by ring's end