Tag Archives: CSI5*

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Jessica Springsteen wins Leading Lady Award at the Winter Equestrian Festival

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In the seventh week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida, Jessica Springsteen was named the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award. The prize was awarded on Saturday, February 23, during CSI5* week of WEF, where she was presented with champagne, flowers and a shopping spree at Hunt Ltd. What more could a girl need huh?

 

It was a successful week for 27-year-old Jessica who rode the 10-year-old Selle Français mare, Volage du Val Henry, to sixth place in the 7thround of the $134,000 CSI5* Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup. This qualified her for Saturday evening’s main CSI5*. She again earned a top-10 placing in the $391,000 CSI5* Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix, this time riding RMF Zecilie, a 12-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by Rushy Marsh Farm.

 

“It’s really exciting to be named Leading Lady!” said Jessica. “My horses jumped great all week, and winning this award is a great finish to a lovely weekend.”

 

The Martha Jolicoeur Overall Leading Lady Rider Award will be presented to the female rider who accumulates the most points throughout the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival,. So far this year, Erynn Ballard, Laura Chapot, Margie Engle, Tiffany Foster, Lauren Hough, and Beezie Madden have claimed weekly awards and in contention of the overall title.

 

A leading South Florida real estate broker and part of the elite Douglas Elliman Real Estate Sports and Entertainment division, Jolicoeur has supported WEF as an integral sponsor for the past nine consecutive years. Throughout WEF, the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award, given in memory of fellow realtor and horsewoman Dale Lawler, is presented weekly to the high-score female rider based on performances in the weekly WEF Challenge Cup Series and Grand Prix events.

 

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HORSE SCOUT REAL: IRELAND v BRITAIN by EOIN GALLAGHER

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HORSE SCOUT REAL: IRELAND v BRITAIN  by EOIN GALLAGHER

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Irish International Showjumper Eoin Gallagher has ridden at Grand Prix level and has been producing sports horses for 15 years. He runs a yard in the heart of Lincolnshire, which focuses on producing showjumpers and training riders. He won a training bursary with Stephen Hadley as a Junior and learnt his trade both on the Irish and the British showjumping circuit. Eoin has worked for other professionals as well as establishing his own equestrian business in both countries. Here he brings to light, the difference between the Equestrian world in the UK and Ireland.

“I came from a non horsey family in the North of Ireland but started riding at the local riding school and then the Pony Club. I first came to the UK as a junior rider but my first riding job over here was with Tim Brown. After working for Dermott Lennon back in Ireland and running my own equestrian business, I moved back to the UK to set up a yard.

In general, the equestrian world in Ireland is comprised of less professionals and it is made up more from private individuals who often have normal jobs but would produce a few horses on the side. Most of the Irish professional riders have moved abroad- to the UK, Europe or America.

What is great for a professional rider in the UK is the number of shows. You could go to a show six days a week if you wanted to. There is a greater variation of shows accommodating more levels and disciplines. In Ireland, there are not so many midweek shows, they tend to be on the weekend. This means that you go to shows every weekend where as in the UK, the midweek shows allow me to spend some time at home on weekends to train amateur riders. It is easier being closer to Central Europe too, where the CSI shows are better and there are more of them.

In the UK, the biggest thing is that there is more Equestrian population. So far more people doing it so that obviously presents more opportunities for selling horses and training riders. The weather is better too!

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The Equestrian population in the UK has it’s downsides though and could learn a few lessons from Ireland. Firstly, I think in Ireland it is a better system for producing young horses. There is a big emphasis on age classes and that is why we have so many getting to the World Young Horse Championships in Lanaken and being successful. There is a series for the young horses which runs through the spring and summer, it comprises eight two day shows for five, six and seven year olds. The five year olds don’t have to jump off and the double clears share 3150 euros. The six year old and seven year old classes do have jump offs and the total prize fund for each is 2700 euro at each show. This series is backed and promoted by Horse Sport Ireland and it has had a major impact on how the industry in Ireland has been structured over the past decade from the breeders all the way through production and finally sales. The extra prize money has meant that riders with good enough young horses have been able to produce them longer without having to sell at a younger age to earn a living. The horses then enter a different price bracket as seven year olds and inevitably returns a much higher price back to the owner and rider.

There is also a 1.50m Grand Prix series which runs for nine shows and has a prize fund of 10,000 Euro for each show. Many of these classes overlap with the Young Horse Series and the higher placed riders in the league are invited to jump the CSI***** at Dublin in August.

In the UK we have the Newcomers and Foxhunter system rather than defining a horse by it’s age, which means you have 10 year olds jumping Foxhunters alongside six years olds. It takes away from the desired progression of the Young Horse with many riders simply chasing the dream of jumping at HOYS which can sometimes come at a detrimental cost to a horse’s long term career.

In Ireland there may not be such a large Equestrian population but there is more of a “horse culture” in our heritage. You only have to look at the massive attendance to Dublin Horse Show, where many of the spectators don’t even own a horse but there is just a national interest in Equestrianism. Last year was my first time attending the British Nations Cup and I was shocked and disappointed at the lack of public attendance and support for such a prestigious class. I’ve grown up knowing that Friday at Dublin horse show was always a sell out for the Nations Cup.

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In the UK, it is different. You sometimes have new people coming in from outside the industry and they don’t always understand it in a practical sense. In some cases they are led more by litigation and blame culture and everything has to be insured. So for selling horses, it has become a really difficult market. Good horses are failing vetting’s because, vets are scared of being sued and private people are afraid to buy from what they term as “dealers”. For example, I don’t class myself as a “dealer” in the way it is construed. I produce horses professionally to sell which involves training and educating them. Often with these buyers, they are naturally suspicious and assume that because they are buying from a commercial yard, we must all be like dodgy used car salesmen. It is a difficult time for professionals like myself.

I like Irish bred horses and my current top horse Princess Leah, is Irish bred by Ard VDL Douglas. But my belief is that a good horse, is a good horse, however it is bred. I prefer a blood type horse so tend to pick modern continental bloodlines like KWPN, Belgium (BWP) and even French (SF). Heartbreaker and his sons have sired some prolific horses at top level as have Clinton, Cornet Obolensky and Kannan.”

HORSE SCOUT

“This has brought a new level of marketing and services to horse selling and promoting your Equestrian business. I like the way the website includes so much detail so you can upload lots of photos, videos and information.

It has a clean, fresh look whilst some of the others have barely changed their look over the years.

It is also managed by people who are equestrian professionals themselves and actively involved in the industry. So they understand at board level, what the demands really are”.

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Written by Ellie Kelly

Queen at Windsor

A right Royal affair

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A right Royal affair

Queen at Windsor

Royal Windsor Horse Show, 9-13th May 2018

With Prince Harry getting married and Zara Tindall and Kate Middleton expecting, the Royal family are giving us plenty to celebrate and feel patriotic about.

 

Another Royal occasion of note is the 75th edition of the Royal Windsor Horse Show, held in the private grounds of Windsor Castle from the 9th-13th of May this year. It is an event which Her Majesty, The Queen has attended every year since its creation, in 1943.

 

Today it has become a 5* show and holds the distinguished CHI status, making it one of the most important events in the equestrian calendar. Royal Windsor Horse Show is the only show in the UK to host international competitions in Show Jumping, Dressage, Driving and Endurance. In addition, there are 120 showing classes held over five days.

 

The riders love it too. Even Kent Farrington, current World No 1 Show Jumper said, “This is one of my favourite shows. There’s a combination of an amazing setting, an unbelievable crowd, top course designing and great footing It’s on par with the best in the world.”

 

Royal Windsor was started as a fund raising event during World War II as part of “Wings for Victory Week”, to raise money for Spitfire fighter planes. Over the 75 years the Show has maintained its objective to raise funds for charity. ABF, The Soldiers Charity is supported every year and an equestrian charity is chosen to support by the Committee annually. This year the equestrian charity is the Free Spirit Horse Memorial.

 

The original Show, which required competitors to hack to the Showground as there was no petrol to spare, was held on just one day. Since 1944 the Show has expanded dramatically in terms of length, spectator attendance and competitors. One of the first competitors was HM The Queen who successfully competed in the Single Private Driving Class driving Hans, a Norwegian Pony, to victory in 1944. Other members of the Royal family have also competed including HRH The Prince of Wales, HRH The Princess Royal, Zara Phillips, and most notably, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. It was the Duke who introduced international carriage driving to the Show in 1972, in which he also competed. He went on to win the Horse Teams class in 1982 with HM The Queen’s team of Bays.

 

Such was its popularity with equestrians and the public alike, that Royal Windsor evolved into a major international event. Last year there were 3,300 entries, including many of the world’s best riders, compared to 884 entries in 1950.

 

There will be some serious show jumping action up to CSI 5* level. This together with a large prize fund, is likely to entice the crème de la crème of the show jumping world. Held in the Castle Arena from Friday 11th – Sunday 13th of May, including a Saturday evening performance with the climax of it all- The Rolex Grand Prix will be taking place on the final day. World No.1 and last year’s Grand Prix champion Kent Farrington, is hoping to return to defend his title.

 

The International Dressage is expected to attract some of the world’s leading horse and rider combinations. The CDI4* Al Shira’aa Dressage Grand Prix and Freestyle to Music will take place on the evenings of Thursday 10th and Friday 11th of May respectively. Riders will have the unique opportunity to be judged by Susan Hoevenaars, one of the judges at the upcoming FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018, an unmissable chance for hopefuls heading to the Games this September.

 

The CAIO4* Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix, a FEI World Cup qualifier and one of the most important Driving events in the UK adds to the roster of top international competition at the Show. 2017 saw Boyd Exell score an impressive eighth victory at the Show, and the Australian is certain to be looking to retain his title as part of his FEI World Equestrian Games™ build-up.

 

The visually stunning Windsor Great Park will be the site of the international Endurance on Friday 11 May. A CEI2* event, supported by The Kingdom of Bahrain will negotiate 120km of the countryside of Windsor and Ascot.

 

A huge variety of Showing classes will also share the schedule with the FEI classes, with many of HM The Queen’s horses regularly featuring in the starting line-ups, Royal Windsor Horse Show represents the height of the National Showing calendar. Competitors will be striving to follow in the footsteps of HM The Queen’s Barbers Shop to be crowned Royal Windsor Supreme Showing Champion on the final day of the Show.

 

Spectators can also be entertained by an action-packed schedule of arena displays and other events. Beyond sport, there are 220 high-end shops in the shopping village offering fashion, equestrian and lifestyle goods. Plus a host of food options and watering holes, from artisan food and champagne bars to burgers and beer.

 

Or to book tickets visit www.rwhs.co.uk. Tickets can also be purchased by calling the box office on 0844 581 4960 from the UK and +44 (0)121 7966290 internationally

Written by Ellie Kelly