Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Henselwood 2nd in $100,000 Invitational Grand Prix

Rising star Daniel Bluman added another impressive line to his resume when he bested a star-studded field aboard Fatalis Fatum to secure the top-prize in the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix at HITS Commonwealth Park in Culpeper, Virginia.

Bluman and his impressive mount have now won three Grand Prix events in a row, including a victory in the $100,000 Class at The Hampton Classic. “I am very proud of my horse,” said Bluman. “He is proud to do his job. When I was horse shopping with Pablo Barrios he told me that this was the horse for me, and he was right!”

Bluman was outlasted 30 pairs in the first round and an additional nine on the jump-off course set by International Course Designer Olaf Petersen Sr. “He is a fantastic young rider on a well-established mount,” said Canadian Olympian Jill Henselwood, who finished second. “They are going to be a force to be reckoned with for a long time.”

Henselwood was one of eight in the jump-off and was aboard a brand-new horse, Bradon Construction’s Bottom Line. With two consecutive USGPL Grand Prix wins in her pocket, she was one of the favorites to win the class and the Olympian didn’t disappoint the crowd when she was fast and clear in 33.241 to take the lead. Henselwood quickly relinquished her lead to Bluman and had to settle for a second-place finish this time around, but was still happy with the performance of her new horse. “I am very pleased,” said Henselwood. “It looks like Bottom Line is going to be a promising ride for the future.”

SPAIN’s Maria Alvarez Ponton made endurance history by becoming the first rider to hold both World and European titles at the same time

SPAIN’s Maria Alvarez Ponton made endurance history by becoming the first rider to hold both World and European titles at the same time following a convincing win at the FEI Meydan City Open European Endurance Championship held over the weekend in Assisi, Italy.

Alvarez Ponton has now stood on the medal podium for three year’s in succession. With her 13-year-old French-bred gelding Nobby – world champion under entirely different conditions in Malaysia in 2008 – she also took individual bronze at the FEI European Championships at Barocca D’Alva in Portugal in 2007.

She crossed the line at the end of yesterday’s tough contest in the shadow of the magnificent Saint Francisco's Basilica in 8hrs:10mins: 58secs to complete at an average speed of 19.5km/hr.

The European individual silver medal went to Belgium’s Rachel Jaumotte with Dikruhu (19.1km/hr) while France’s Romain Laporte took individual bronze with Novisaad d'Aqui at an average speed of 18.7km/hr.

The UAE’s Sheikh Abdullah Bin Faisal Al Qasimi finished 10min behind Alvarez Ponton to take the Open European second place with Castlebar Sobia adding to his own recent silver medal winning success at the FEI World Championships for Juniors and Young Riders held in Hungary.

Rachel Jaumotte took the third place in the Open European section.

Fifth-placed Germany’s Sabrina Arnold’s Beau 36 was awarded the coveted best condition award.

Attractions Hippiques provides its creditors with restructuring plan

RSM Richter Inc., the Court-designated Monitor, today provided creditors with the Attractions Hippiques restructuring plan, which it recommends that they accept.

    The plan has four major objectives:

    - Reimburse a portion of the debt to creditors
    - Preserve as many jobs as possible
    - Maintain horse racing at Sulky Québec
    - Continue simulcast transmission of races for Quebec racing fans.

According to the business plan, live racing will resume at the racetrack in Quebec City. Attractions Hippiques, which had already made major cuts to its operating cost structure, plans to make other reductions to its expenses with the goal of making its operations profitable and ensuring its healthy growth, which will benefit the industry. It offers creditors the opportunity to share in the distribution of $1 million. This is decidedly a more advantageous outcome than bankruptcy.

The disappointing performance of the Quebec City and Trois-Rivières Ludoplexes, as well as the absence of a Ludoplex at a new racetrack that was to be built north of Montreal, undermined Attractions Hippiques' financial situation. Without the anticipated revenues from the Ludoplexes, Attractions Hippiques had no other choice but to make sweeping changes to its business plan in order to ensure its survival.

The plan provided to creditors will ensure the continued existence of the company and of this industry. If the plan were rejected, Attractions Hippiques would most likely face bankruptcy, the consequences of which would be the definitive and permanent shutdown of Quebec's horse-racing industry. The creditors' general meeting is scheduled to take place October 22, 2009, in Montreal.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Montreal’s Melissandre Lincourt Masters $10,000 Omnivex Modified Grand Prix

A total of 55 horses attempted to win the $10,000 Omnivex Modified Grand Prix held Saturday, September 26, at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament in Palgrave, ON, but it was Montreal’s Melissandre Lincourt who emerged victorious riding Candidate du Marquet.

From the large starting field, 12 horses posted clear rounds over the difficult first round track to advance to the jump-off where speed became the deciding factor. Yann Candele of Caledon, ON, had posted a clear round in a time of 35.68 seconds riding Game Ready for owner Sue Grange. Lincourt then made her way around the track in an impressive time of 35.43 seconds to edge Candele out of top spot.

Even more impressive was the fact that Lincourt’s horse, Candidate de Marquet, was competing over obstacles set at a height of 1.40m for the first time. On Thursday, the pair had claimed victory in the 1.35m competition.

“We decided to compete today to give her a little mileage and see how she would react over a bigger course,” said Lincourt, 30, of the seven-year-old grey Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Emmanuelle Bolduc. “She obviously thought it was not that hard! I was smiling for five minutes afterwards. She is amazing.”

While Candele settled for second, Colombia’s Roberto Teran was third with a clear round in a time of 36.29 seconds riding the Canadian-bred Grand Slam 3E for owner KingRidge Stables of King City, ON. Margie Gayford of Sharon, ON, was the only other rider to jump double clear, guiding Showgirl home in a time of 39.21 seconds for owner Wingberry Farms.

Megan Lane Named Dressage Canada Red Scarf Equestrian Athlete of the Month for August

Junior rider, Megan Lane of Collingwood, ON, has been named the Dressage Canada Red Scarf Equestrian Athlete of the Month for August.

Lane, 18, won the individual silver medal in the FEI Junior Freestyle dressage test, an individual bronze medal for her performance in the Junior Individual test, and was a member of the Ontario Junior Dressage gold medal winning team at the 2009 Adequan FEI North American Junior & Young Riders’ Championships, held July 21-26 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.

Riding her eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Caravella, Lane along with her team members Zachary Ball of Mountain, ON, Alexandra Dvorak of Hillsburgh, ON, and Maura O'Sullivan of Toronto, ON, scored a decisive win with a Team total score of 196.433, almost six points ahead of the silver medal-winning team from USA — Region 3.

Lane then went on to perform in the Junior Individual test, winning the individual bronze medal with a score of 65.842%. For the Freestyle test Lane was tied with American Heather Ots, as both received a total score of 68.000% from the panel of five judges. The general impression marks were used to break the tie, and it was Lane who received higher marks, and was awarded the silver medal.

"The Championships were the highlight of my summer," said Lane. "My teammates were amazing people and riders. They made it so much fun to be there. Our success was an extraordinary bonus."

The judging panel at the 2009 Adequan FEI North American Junior & Young Riders’ Championships included Maribel Alonso (FEI—O, MEX), Axel Steiner (FEI—O, USA), Lois Yukins (FEI—I, USA), Joan Macartney, (FEI—I, CAN) and Brenda Minor (FEI—C, CAN).

Exclusively for Junior Riders, aged 14–18, and Young Riders, aged 16–21, the NAJYRC gives up-and-coming riders the opportunity to represent their country as a team, and prepares them for future international competition. The Championships were hosted at the site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, giving these young athletes a taste of what’s to come next year for their senior counterparts

Dressage Canada Red Scarf Equestrian Athlete of the Month is a recognition program to celebrate the achievements of Canadian dressage riders who represent Canada in national and international competition at the FEI Pony, Children, Junior, Young Rider, Advanced, Grand Prix and Young Horses classes.

Red Scarf Equestrian is the generous sponsor of Dressage Canada Athlete of the Month. Red Scarf Equestrian will be providing Lane with a generous gift certificate that can be used towards the purchase of elegant equestrian luggage, travel bags and accessories that are all made in Canada. For more information about Red Scarf Equestrian, please visit

About Dressage Canada

Dressage Canada, as a committee of Equine Canada, is the national governing body for dressage in Canada. Dressage Canada's objective is to foster the growth of dressage and the pursuit of excellence in the sport at the local, national and international levels. Dressage Canada provides support and guidance to both amateur and professional through the following programs: coaching education and programs, officials’ education and programs, rules and qualifying criteria, sport development, and publications and awards. For more information about Dressage Canada, please visit the Dressage section of the Equine Canada site.

About Red Scarf Equestrian

Red Scarf Equestrian is proud to offer a line of equestrian luggage and travel bags that deliver exceptional quality and extraordinary value.  This line is a refreshing change as it speaks of elegance and simplicity.  It works to protect your expensive and valuable apparel, boots and accessories.  In a world of clutter, you can't afford not to buy quality. Red Scarf Equestrian is proudly made in Canada. For more information about Red Scarf Equestrian, please visit

About Equine Canada

Equine Canada is a member-based association that represents, promotes and services Canada's equine community and industry. Its core areas of activity involve sport, equine health and welfare, education and safety, governance and marketing, and representation and communication. Equine Canada is recognized by Sport Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Coaching Association of Canada as the national organization representing equestrian sport and equine interests in Canada. For more information about Equine Canada, please visit

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hugh Graham Wins $100,000 Caledon Cup Final at Canadian Show Jumping Tournament

Hugh Graham of Schomberg, ON, won the $100,000 Caledon Cup Final held Sunday, September 27, to conclude the inaugural CSI2*-W Canadian Show Jumping Tournament at the Caledon Equestrian Park in Palgrave, ON.

In addition to offering $30,000 in prize money to the winner, the $100,000 Caledon Cup Final acted as a qualifier for the 2010 World Cup Final to be held in April in Geneva, Switzerland.

A total of 28 horses attempted the first round track set by course designer Bernardo Cabral of Portugal, who drew rave reviews for his work throughout the week. Although two of the first three competitors on course jumped clear but incurred one time fault, the time allowed of 85 seconds was not changed.

It proved to be the right decision as the fifth competitor, local favourite Erynn Ballard of Hillsburgh, ON, riding Robin van Roosendael, demonstrated that a clear round inside the time was possible. Andres Rodriguez of Venezuela then ensured a jump-off with Secret and two more local athletes, Yann Candele of Caledon, ON, and Hugh Graham of Schomberg, ON, added their names to the list.

Friday, September 25, 2009

SHOW JUMPING - Local Riders Heat Up Canadian Show Jumping Tournament
Competition is underway at the inaugural Canadian Show Jumping Tournament running September 23-27 at the Caledon Equestrian Park in Palgrave, ON, and local competitors are making their mark among the best in the country.

Yann Candele of Caledon, ON, has already won twice in the grand prix arena. On Wednesday, Candele, 38, emerged victorious over 63 other horses in the 1.35m Jumper competition riding Carolla Z for owner Liz Currie of Claremont, ON. On Thursday, Candele returned to the grand prix ring to take top spot with Azzaro in the 1.40m Jumper Stake. Azzaro is owned by Susan Grange and Lothlorien Farm of Cheltenham, ON.

“It is amazing to be able to compete in a world-class venue by day and sleep in my own bed at night,” said Candele who operates his training business, Normandy Hills, in Cheltenham. “We are very lucky to have a top-class equestrian facility right in our own backyard.”

Another local rider taking multiple victories home to nearby Hillsburgh, ON, is Erynn Ballard who has been dominating the hunter competition. The 29-year-old claimed the Baby Green Hunter Championship on Wednesday riding Hannah for owner Braeburn Farms and also took the Reserve Championship title with her own Johnny Dollar.

On Thursday, she again took the Championship title, this time in the Six and Seven-Year-Old Ultimate Hunter Challenge, riding Otherwise for owner Rosalind Laperriere, and was Reserve Champion with Windhaven’s Arctic. Ballard operates Looking Back Stables in Hockley Valley with her parents, David and Sandi.

“It’s nice to have such a high profile show in our area,” noted Ballard, who has ridden on victorious Nations’ Cup teams for Canada. “It’s a great facility mostly because it’s made for horse shows and it is not a temporary facility for one event. There are always enough practice rings, the stabling is good, the food is great, and the show ring is excellent. I’m looking forward to having a good week.”

Heather MacInnis of Milton, ON, won Wednesday’s 1.40m Jumper class with Shine of Light. Another rider from Milton, two-time Canadian Show Jumping Champion Ainsley Vince, won the Pre-Green Hunter Low Over Fences class with Venti as well as the Baby Green Hunter Over Fences with Zara.

Schomberg’s Jeff Rundle has also claimed several wins including the Combined Working Hunter Over Fences riding Casino and the Baby Green Over Fences and Under Saddle competitions with Orion K.

Competition heats up at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament on Friday, September 25, with the $32,000 Caledon Cup Open Welcome at 3 p.m. Saturday’s featured event is the $10,000 Omnivex Modified Grand Prix while Sunday brings the grand finale, the $100,000 Caledon Cup Final, at 2 p.m. Featuring the best of the best, Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, ON, will be looking for victory, but will face stiff competition from his 2008 Olympic Silver Medal teammates, Ian Millar and King City’s Mac Cone, among others. In addition to offering $30,000 in prize money to the winner, the $100,000 Caledon Cup Final also acts a World Cup Qualifier for the 2010 World Cup Final to be held in April in Geneva, Switzerland.

Alongside world-class show jumping competition, the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament will feature family entertainment such as the Horse Sport Performing Dogs, the Birds of Prey exhibition, and the Foxbury Farm Horseless Horse Show judged by Connor Jessup, star of TVO’s popular ‘The Saddle Club’ television show. Families can also enjoy the Home Depot Kids Workshop where children can build their own toolboxes, a jumping castle, and face painting.

For more information on the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament, please visit Follow the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament on Twitter at

Thursday, September 24, 2009

About Endurance Riding

Endurance riding – a non-Olympic FEI discipline – currently the fastest growing of the entire equestrian sports around the world, second only to Jumping in number of competitions.
Endurance riding is a true test of speed, soundness and good horsemanship. The origins of Endurance riding in North America relate back to the time when the US Cavalry tested its horses on a five-day, 300-mile (483 km) ride, each carrying over 200 lbs (91 kg). It became a competitive sport when Wendell Robie traced the Pony Express route from Nevada to California in less than 24 hours. In 1982, when the FEI approved Endurance riding as an official discipline, there were only 4 international rides. The number reached 300 in 2004 and today well over 400 FEI Endurance events are held world-wide, nearly one third of all FEI competitions. The minimum distance for a one day competition is between 40 and 160 km -- FEI 1* to FEI 3* events. FEI 4* events represent the premier competitions -- the World Endurance Championships, the World Equestrian Games, the Pan American Championships and Continental Championships, including Junior and Young Rider divisions. The World Endurance Championship in 2008 will be held in Malaysia, November 6-9. Ruth Sturley & RBF Super Sport (Cealy Tetley Photo)
In addition to FEI competitions, local and national events are held across Canada and the United States. These are managed by the provincial/regional/state Endurance organizations, and are represented nationally by the Endurance Canada Committee of Equine Canada and the American Endurance Ride Conference. In Canada, rides are recognized right across the country, from British Columbia to the Atlantic region. The Canadian National Championships were held in Alberta, July 30-August 4, 2008.
Endurance riding involves a horse and rider team, completing a set course of up to 160 kms, with maximum times assigned to each distance, within a 24-hour period. Multi-day rides are becoming increasingly popular in North America, offering 2 to 5 days of competitions, each day being considered as an independent, separate contest. Any breed of horse can be used for endurance riding although Arabians and part-Arabians bred for centuries for stamina and endurance have proven to be the most successful breeds.
Riders aim to finish the course as quickly as possible with a “sound”, healthy horse. Welfare of the horse is paramount. There are multiple veterinary checks along each course at which horses receive a soundness exam to ensure that they are fit to continue.
Excessive fatigue, signs of lameness and other indications of problems may lead to elimination from the competition. The challenge in Endurance lies in preparing both horse and rider for the long, arduous competition. Endurance horses must be fit and sound, but also obedient to their riders. Pace and strategy also play an important role, influenced by the level of difficulty of the course based on terrain, technicality and climate.

Endurance Canada is a newly-formed committee of the Sport Council of Equine Canada. The mandate is to manage and coordinate all programs, services and activities relating to the sport discipline of Endurance, from grassroots to international, meeting the policy guidelines of Equine Canada, Sport Canada and the Federation d’Equestre Internationale (FEI).
Endurance Canada publishes an e-newsletter monthly for affiliate members, alternating between ‘international’ and ‘general’ news. The International Sub-committee of Endurance Canada has developed a nomination and selection process for FEI Championship events, and Endurance teams representing Canada have competed in many countries around the world. Annually, the Awards and Recognition Sub-committee acknowledges the Top Canadian Junior and Senior riders, as well as other outstanding individuals who contribute tirelessly to the sport. Endurance Canada Executive members sit on several of the Equine Canada/Sport Council committees: International, Competitions, Veterinary, Athlete’s Council and Welfare of the Horse.