All posts by Nancy Jaffer

Save us a table in heaven, Kiki

wef feb 9 no. 363 Kiki and friend 300dpiShe was the guardian at the gate, the one who presided at so many VIP areas, always gracious but firm if someone without a wristband tried to cajole their way to a table. It won’t be the same without Kiki Umla, who has left us.

How Kiki kept her sense of humor and equilibrium I’ll never know, but she handled a tough job with aplomb.

She was a real pro, and the presentation to her of the Welles Trophy for service to the horse show industry at the 2012 National Horse Show was so well-deserved.

From Lake Placid to Wellington and so many shows in between, Kiki will be sorely missed.

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U.S. takes dressage Cup series title

A second-place finish in the dressage Nations’ Cup at the Aachen, Germany show today gave the U.S. victory in the overall Cup series that began last spring in Florida.

Steffen Peters led the way for the U.S. with a 76.627 percent performance on Legolas, which put him fourth individually, behind three German riders. World number one Kristina Broring-Spree won with a sore of 83.725 on Desperados. The German total was 492.598, with the U.S. on 437.139 and Denmark 430.418.

The U.S. was without a drop score after team member Katherine Bateson Chandler withdrew Alcazar, who was the squad’s drop score on the first day of the competition, which incuded the Grand Prix Thursday and the Grand Prix Special today.

“He showed signs of colic yesterday which explained a little why he was a bit lack luster in the Grand Prix,” Katherine said on her Facebook page.

“Unfortunately, he became worse and culminated in a colic surgery for him. It was a long difficult night for us all but my boy is tough! Please pray for him especially the next five days.”

 

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Big trouble for Bromont WEG

A decision by the Canadian federal government  not to provides funds for the 2018 World Equestrian Games scheduled for Bromont, Quebec, leaves the event in a fiscal hole from which there may be no way out.

The WEG has been in trouble from the start. Bromont got the original nod for the competition, which subsequently was re-bid, with Bromont again selected as host  when alternatives weren’t forthcoming. The Wellington, Fla., showgrounds were out because Rolex is a major sponsor of the Winter Equestrian Festival there, and Longines is the big sponsor of the FEI (international equestrian federation).  The Rolex stadium is the focal point of the Kentucky Horse Park–scene of the 2010 WEG (which ran at a loss)–so it cannot be the venue either.

FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez acknowledged that, “The FEI has been officially advised by the Bromont Organising Committee (COJEM) that the Canadian Federal Government has made the decision not to fund the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Bromont and obviously this is very disappointing. As the international governing body, the FEI has a responsibility to ask the right questions and protect the future of our flagship events so, as a matter of priority, we will be meeting with the COJEM Board and the National Federation, Equestrian Canada (actually Equine Canada), to get a full picture of the situation and to look at next steps.”

With only two years before the WEG is scheduled to get under way, the FEI will have to move fast. It may be time to scrap the WEG concept that began in 1990 and go back either to individual world championships for the eight disciplines that make up the WEG, or do them in groupings, such as show jumping, dressage and para-dressage, which has been presented for the European Championships.

Problems with putting together the WEG are nothing new. The venues that won the bids for the WEGS of 1994 (Paris) and 1998 (Ireland) both dropped out and other nations pitched in with little time to spare. The 1994 Games in the Hague, Netherlands, were a financial disaster. The 1998 Games in Rome were well put together, despite the short window organizers had for arranging their competition. Rome did not, however, include endurance, reining and para-dressage, all of which are part of the eight-discipline package at this time.

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USA show jumpers tie for second at Aachen, place in GP

The Hermès U.S show jumping team in the Nations’ Cup at Aachen wasn’t quite the Olympic squad that will be taking the field next month in Brazil. Pathfinder McLain Ward rode Rothchild rather than HH Azur, while alternate Laura Kraut on Zeremonie stood in for Kent Farrington and Voyeur. But it was a good prep for Rio, with McLain, Laura and Lucy Davis (Barron) logging clear trips in the first round. Anchor rider Beezie Madden (Cortes C) didn’t have to compete in that segment because there was no need for a drop score..

After tying on zero faults with a strong German squad halfway through the class,  the second round did not go quite as well. The U.S. got a drop score of 12 from McLain. Laura and Lucy were fault-free again, but a penalty at the water jump for Beezie put the U.S. in a tie for second with the French on 4 penalties, while the Germans finished on zero to win.

France was without the number one-ranked rider in the world, Simon Delestre. It will be among the key contenders for medals in Rio, along with Germany and the U.S., as well as the Netherlands, which appeared in the Cup without its world champion; Britain, which did not have its Olympic team on hand, and three or four other countries. So don’t draw too many conclusions about the Olympic results from the Aachen Nations’ Cup, which is an important competition in its own right.

“We came here for the preparation against the best in the world and we got it,” said U.S. coach Robert Ridland.

In the Rolex Grand Prix that wrapped up the show, Germany’s Philip Weishaupt won the 330,000 Euro first prize on LB Convall, while Mclain finished sixth aboard Azur and Beezie seventh with Cortes.

Philip was having a run of good luck at the show. He met his girlfriend, Bliss Heers, at Aachen five years ago. The day before the grand prix, he got engaged to her, and you know the rest.

 

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Amwell Valley sets hunting clinic

Interested in riding with a hunt? The Amwell Valley Hounds is hosting an event that will let participants get a taste of riding to the hounds, as well as an opportunity to learn hunting etiquette and turnout.

Pre-registration is required for the July 23 event, for which jumping is optional. It starts at 8 a.m. at the Amwell Hounds kennel. The cost is $50 per person, or $30 for juniors. Contact Susan DeHaven at avhsecretary@gmail.com or find out more at www.avhounds.org.

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Olympic eventing substitution

Olympic eventing team traveling reserve Maya Black has withdrawn Doesn’t Play Fair due to a veterinary  issue. The combination was 25th last weekend in the team’s final outing at Great Meadow in Virginia. The horse is expected to return to competition for the 2017 season.

They are being replaced by Lynn Symansky and Donner, who came in 12th.

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Visit interesting barns in Tewksbury

The 10th biennial Tewksbury Barn Tour will be held in the township July 17 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets for the tour, sponsored by the Tewksbury Historical Society and the Tewksbury Trail Association, just be ordered by July 13.

The price is $20 per person and $5 for children under 12. Make checks payable to the Tewksbury Historical Society and mail them to THS Barn Tour, P.O. Box 457, Oldwick, N.J. 08858-0457.

Tickets are not mailed; pick them up the day of the tour at Christie Hoffman Farm Park, 108 Fairmount Road (Route 512), Califon.

For more information, call (908) 832-6734 or log onto www.tewksburyhistory.net

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Don’t mess with the USEF

The U.S. Equestrian Federation’s flawless record of winning court challenges to its anti-doping program continued last week, after the New York State Supreme Court ruled in favor of the organization in the case of Archibald Cox’s penalties for violations of the organization’s Drugs and Medications rules, which prohibit excessive levels of GABA, a calming agent, in a horse’s system.

Following a June 2015 hearing in which it was found he had violated the rules, Cox was issued a five-month suspension and a $5,000 fine. Subsequently, he filed a proceeding against the USEF in the state of New York, challenging the hearing committee’s decision. In its ruling, the court held that the committee’s decision was supported by substantial evidence.

“The USEF has never lost a challenge in court related to its anti-doping program, which protects horse welfare,” stated USEF General Counsel Sonja Keating. “The USEF works diligently to eradicate doping in equestrian sport. We take the issue of doping very seriously. Our anti-doping protocol and the Drugs and Medications program go to the core mission of the USEF – to provide access to and increase participation in equestrian sports at all levels by ensuring fairness, safety, and enjoyment.”

Cox did not respond to a request for comment.

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Help needed for trail work to benefit NJ/NY riders

Trail riders in northern New Jersey and Orange County, N.Y. across the border are being asked by the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference to help with a new equestrian trail in Sterling Forest State Park in Orange County. The 2-foot-wide trail also will be used by hikers and mountain bikers .

Volunteers do not need experience. They will be working Thursdays through Mondays between 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and given training and safety equipment. It’s strenuous, but also offers a chance to meet new friends. Choose to be involved for a few hours or a full day. RSVP to Ama Koenigshof, ama@nynjtc.org or call (616) 337-2481

 

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Interested in side-saddle?

Learn how to ride side-saddle at Camp Leaping Horn July 12-14 at the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation in Gladstone. Contact shelly.liggett@gmail.com to find out more. Those preferring to watch or volunteer are welcome also. Contact pasovasz@aol.com to offer your services if you want to help. Then return to demonstrate your skills at the All Side-Saddle Show July 16  and 17. Get in touch for more information about the show with Danielle Burcheit at heartlight@optonline.net.

 

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