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Fran Jurga's insight:
@FranJurga writes: Transparency personified from Equestrian Australia allows the rest of the world to see the thinking that goes into planning for international sport results. If you're interested in how sports and teams are managed, this document will give you insight into goal-setting and resetting. Thanks to Equestrian Australia for sharing this with their riders and the world.
Video: Akeem Foldager and Andreas Helgtrand at a demonstration last week. The pair have only been together for three weeks.
Something special happened at "Horses and Dreams" today in Germany. The CDI4* was won by Denmark's Andreas Helgstrand riding his new mount Akeem Foldager. It was the pair's first competition and they have only been together for three weeks.
This video shows them a week ago doing a demonstration ride.
The goal is for Akeem to be Helgstrand's mount to represent Denmark in the European Champions this summer. They're off to a great start and will presumably be competing in the freestyle tomorrow.
Steffen Peters and Legolas were second at Hagen and will also be in the freestyle tomorrow.
Fran Jurga's insight:
That's fast work, to take over a horse and have a freestyle ready in three weeks? This horse is impressive! Fast forward to around the 8 minute mark and watch this horse work to rock music. Thanks to the Dutch horse magazine "Hoefslag" for finding this great video.
"For those who aren’t aware, I was eliminated in my Olympic debut in London this past year. Chrevi’s Capital and I were performing our grand prix test in the Olympic stadium during a horrific downpour.
"Unfortunately, Capital spooked and I was eliminated when we were not able to continue our test within in the 20-second time allowed.
"As there are only three riders per team and all three scores counted for a team result, my individual elimination meant that the Canadian Team was automatically eliminated as well..."
@FranJurga writes: So begins this compelling first-person account of Canadian dressage rider David Marcus's experience at the 2012 Olympics.
I think this is an excellent article and hope that everyone will take a moment to read it. It's about a lot more than dressage, or the Olympics.
The photo is not fuzzy--it was pouring rain!
Click on the headline or image to read the full article.
The International Horse Sport (IHS) Champions Cup CDI-W hit the ground running both literally and figuratively with all the horses passing the FEI jog on the beautiful International Horse Sport Showgrounds in Loxahatchee, FL.
The horses and competitors settled into the comfortable surroundings featuring plenty of green spaces and a convivial atmosphere on the historic grounds that also play host to the Palm Beach Dressage Derby.
Competitors chatted amiably as they waited for the jog, which all the FEI horses passed.
Noticeably missing were USA’s Tina Konyot and Calecto V and Canada’s Jacqueline Brooks and D Niro, who scratched from the competition. Just six days ago, Konyot said she was going to step it up a notch in the Champions Cup’s Saturday afternoon Grand Prix Freestyle.
Konyot and Calectov V needed one more qualifying score to be eligible for the Reem Acra FEI World Cup in April in Gothenburg, Sweden.
This weekend’s IHS Champions Cup was to be the pair’s last chance to qualify as the show serves as the final North American League World Cup qualifying event.
Click on the headline or image of David Marcus and Don Kontes to read the complete article on the Phelps Media Group website
Take 13 minutes out of your life and watch the farewell performance of Anky van Grunsven's Salinero. The two-time Olympic gold medal winning horse was retired tonight in the Brabanthallen in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands.
(So sorry, the headline link is not correct; the site has a cookie popup so the correct link is:
And yes, the announcer is speaking in Dutch but once the pianist starts, you won't hear anything else!)
I've never retired a dressage horse, but I think this is how we'd all like to do it: as a performance in a spotlight, with a sound horse going out to a standing ovation...not just a press release, never to be seen again.
Anky enjoyed enormous success with the 19-year-old Hannoverian.
As the FEI's Louise Parkes writes: "(Salinero's) career might well have been overshadowed by the memory of his revered predecessor, Bonfire who, together with van Grunsven, first brought Freestyle Dressage to center stage.
"Salinero however followed faithfully in those very famous hoofprints to become a star in his own right, taking Olympic individual gold in Athens in 2004 and again at the equestrian events of the Beijing Olympic Games in Hong Kong four years later.
"And he helped van Grunsven to become the most prolific winner of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage title - she won it nine times over a 13-year period between 1995 and 2008.
"Salinero first came to prominence in 2003 with victory in the Dutch National Championship and was part of the Dutch bronze medal winning team at the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park last summer which brought his spectacular career to a fitting conclusion."
Anky and Salinero gave me ten years of thrilling performance and amazingly close competition. They helped bring artistic expression into the sport of dressage and Anky's not done yet.
Salinero always seemed to enjoy leaving the arena more than entering it, so tonight was his night, in a very big way. He never has to go in there again, but the dressage world will be a little empty without him.
Archival photo from The Jurga Report files.
photo © Susan J. Stickle, courtesy of the event
The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) hosted an entertaining night of equestrian sport at the WEF Dressage Classic, CDI 3* presented by Today's Equestrian & Fellows on Friday.
The night's schedule included an opening $10,000 Puissance won by Great Britain's Tim Gredley and Unex Valente, which led into the highlight class of the week, the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle sponsored by Horseware Ireland.
The winning freestyle score of 74.625% was put up by Tina Konyot (USA) and Calecto V for their second freestyle win (74.625%) in a row at the AGDF.
The CDI 3* continues through Sunday, March 17.
Jacquline Brooks of Canada and her D Niro had a spectacular freestyle to a cheering crowd for second place (71.425%); Mikala Munter Gundersen of Denmark and My Lady were third with a score of 69.800%.
Check the event web site for more details; just click on the image or headline to visit the festival's site.
(text edited from a longer press release)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrated the wedding of close friends with raclette and confetti at a ski resort in the Swiss Alps on Saturday.
@FranJurga wrote: Yes, that is Olympic dressage gold medalist Laura Bechtolsheimer leaving her wedding ceremony this weekend. She married polo player Mark Tomlinson.
Most of the news has been about the fact that Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge (Prince Harry, too) were there but leave it to The Telegraph to include some details about Laura for those of us who are interested in her.
Fluff? Sure! But congratulations to Laura!
Dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Kauto Star has shown off his new dressage skills at Newbury racecourse.
The five-time King George VI Chase winner went around the parade ring for eventing rider Laura Collett.
Collett told BBC Sport: "It was encouraging. He was excited by the crowd but managed to contain himself."
Click on the headline or image to read the full story.
@FranJurga writes: Doesn't he look great!
Click on the icon to play the video right in the Scoop-It window!
@FranJurga writes: Germany's Helen Langehanenberg and her stallion Damon Hill won today's Reem Acra FEI World Cup Final 2013 Grand Prix--an event that was marked by several uncharacteristic spooks from the finalists, including defending champions Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival of The Netherlands.
Can Helen continue her form and become the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Champion of 2013? It's an exciting finale as the top riders finally ride against each other in the same event.