Olympic show jumping short list named

The entire U.S. bronze medal team from the 2014 World Equestrian Games has been named to the 10-member short list for this summer’s Rio Olympics.

McLain Ward (HH Azur, Rothchild), Kent Farrington (Voyeur, Gazelle), Beezie Madden (Breitling, Simon, Cortes C and Quister) and Lucy Davis (Barron) are on the roster, along with Reed Kessler (Cylana), who rode on the 2012 Olympic team with McLain and Beezie.

Also listed are 2000 Olympic alternate Todd Minikus (Babalou), 2008 Olympic team member Laura Kraut (Deauville), 2000 Olympic teammates Lauren Hough (Ohlala) and Margie Engle (Royce) and Callan Solem (VDL Wizard), the top-placing U.S. rider from last month’s Longines FEI World Cup Show Jumping Finals in Sweden, where she was seventh.

The only ones in the group with no Olympic experience as either a team member or alternate are Lucy and Callan.

Like the U.S. dressage riders, U.S. show jumpers will be going on a tour of European shows before the squad of four and one alternate is selected.

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Omaha gearing up for World Cup with test event

A new 4-star dressage show is set for next month in Omaha, Neb., where it will be the test event for the 2017 Reem Acra FEI Dressage World Cup finals.

The competition at the International Omaha has drawn Canadian Olympian Jacquie Brooks, whose Hallelujah/Les Miserables freestyle with De Niro always brings the house down; her countrywomen, Karen Pavicic, a World Equestrian Games veteran and Evi Strasser.

Also competing for the total of $30,000 in prize money will be New Jersey-based Argentine Gabriel Armando, who is an international dressage judge, and six Americans. They include Jami Kment, a Nebraska resident who will be a local favorite. She is a U.S. Dressage Federation judge and U.S. Dressage Federation gold medalist; Floridian Anna Marek and Lauren Sprieser of Virginia, who had four top-10 placings at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Florida.

Others are Adrienne Pot of Illinois; Emily Miles of Kansas, a team bronze medalist at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships and reserve champion in the Grand Prix at the 2014 USDF national championships and adult amateur Suzie Halle of Colorado.

The test event, which runs May 5-7, also features show jumping, including the $130,000 International Grand Prix to close the competition.It will offer a look ahead to next year’s Longines FEI Show Jumping World Cup Final in the CenturyLink Center. Vendors and educational exhibits are also part of the show, presented by the Omaha Equestrian Foundation.

For information, go to internationalomaha.com.

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Learn from Bernie Traurig at Coker Farm

Bernie Traurig had quite a career as a rider. Fluent in three disciplines, the Medal and Maclay finals winner went on to be a star in the hunter and jumper ranks with such great horses as Gozzi, Royal Blue, the Cardinal and even Jet Run–before he was ridden by Michael Matz.

Although riders and trainers often focus on giving clinics when they quit show business, Bernie decided to do it in a different way. He started EquestrianCoach.com using video as an integral element of his business. And the intensity with which he always trained and rode now comes through in his teaching, both in person and via the recording.

His operation is popular around the country, and next month the Californian is heading east to a workshop hosted by Judy Richter and Coker farm in Bedford, N.Y.

The workshop, which also is USHJA-approved as a trainer certification clinic, runs May 6-8, with an optional session over natural obstacles May 9.

It’s a semi-private riding and auditing experience,, with three days and evenings of immersion and educational interaction. Bernie works with small groups of three to four riders, including amateurs, juniors and professional from all jumping disciplines at several levels.

When Bernie decided teaching was going to become his life, his question was, “How can I reach the masses?” rather than just dealing with 25 people a weekend at ordinary clinics. Bernie said he realized “education is desperately needed. I had a great desire to spread knowledge.”

He knew nothing about video or developing a website, but he understood what it would take.

“I surrounded myself with good people,” he said, noting “it evolved as I competed less and less and I started to do more clinics. Your ability to improve people and horses and relate to them; your skills get so much better if you do a lot of it. That made it easier for me to get a point across, whatever the topic was.”

Auditors are encouraged to join in the daily discussions between Bernie and the riders, and are also able to participate in video presentations and Q&A during dinners on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Coker Farm, a respected operation in Westchester County, is easy to get to from New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

For more information and to register go to EquestrianCoach.com and click on East Coast Workshop.

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Sandy Sternberg dies in Florida

Sandy Sternberg, who ran Pepperhill Farm in Colts Neck before retiring, died April 13 at the age of 77.

Although Sandy was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in her 40s, she never let that dim her spirit, and was very active in fundraising to fight the disease.

“She was always so positive,” friend of the family Brooke Mallin said about the trainer, who moved to Boynton Beach, Fla., after closing her farm.

Citing Sandy’s warm nature, Brooke noted that to her, “everybody was a family member.”

Sandy’s daughter, Jill Sternberg (Hymson), was second in the 1982 ASPCA Maclay finals at Madison Square Garden and Sandy was honored in 1982 by the New Jersey Professional Horsemen’s Association.

Those who wish to make a donation in her memory should contact the South Florida chapter of the national Multiple Sclerosis Society. The email is FLS@NMSS.ORG.

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Lend a hand to Mylestone

Mylestone Equine Rescue in Pohatcong needs help in order to win an ASPCA Help A Horse Day grant up to $25,000. Go to Horsemen’s Outlet, 37 Molasses Hill Road, Lebanon on April 23 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (rain date is April 24). There you can sign a roster, which counts toward this organization getting a grant.

There’s plenty to do, including a silent auction, bake sale, tack swap, and more, plus a special 20 percent off coupon offer from Horsemen’s. Money raised will go towards Mylestone’s new Equine Relief Fund.

If you can’t be there, make a donation or sponsor a Mylestone horse, indicating it’s for Help A Horse Day. For more information, go to http://www.mylestone.org/news.asp?page=284

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It’s time to order Dressage at Devon tickets

Reserved seating tickets are now available on line for Dressage at Devon, Sept. 27-Oct. 2. Held at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair grounds in Devon, Pa. This six-day event features the largest open breed show in the country.

The performance division draws top horses and riders to the 18-acre facility, where the Festival Area Shops at Dressage at Devon offer everything from riding apparel to tack and fine art, jewelry, antiques, pottery, and Dressage at Devon souvenirs.

To purchase seats, visit the online box office at www.dressageatdevon.org and click on “spectators.”

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Why not get a ticket to Omaha for the World Cup finals?

Individual tickets are now on sale at www.Omahaworldcup2017.com  for the global indoor championship in dressage and show jumping at Omaha’s CenturyLink Center March 29-April 2.

Such big names as McLain Ward of the U.S., defending champ Steve Guerdat of Switzerland and Daniel Deusser of Germany in show jumping, along with U.S. rider Laura Graves, Carl Hester of Britain and Isabell Werth of Germany in dressage are expected to be on hand.

In addition to the competition, there will be many other activities and exhibitions, as well as vendors selling everything from tack to jewelry and crafts.

Omaha is a nice town (the state’s tourism motto is “Visit Nebraska, Visit Nice”). Be sure to dine and shop at the Old Market near the arena. The finals won’t return to the U.S. until 2020, so take advantage of next year’s opportunity. There’s even a direct flight from Newark airport.

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