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John Whitaker narrowly misses victory in epic battle between legends in Lausanne

John Whitaker narrowly misses victory in epic battle between legends in Lausanne | Red Horse News |
The winners in Lausanne: Ludger Beerbaum and Chaman. Photos by Stefano Grasso/LGCT. It was a battle of the Legends with a capital \'L\' in Lausanne on Saturday evening when Germany\'s Ludger Beerbaum
Keyflow® Team Member's insight:

It was a battle of the Legends with a capital 'L' in Lausanne on Saturday evening when Germany's Ludger Beerbaum and Chaman (Baloubet du Rouet x I Love You) took on Britain's John Whitaker and Argento (Arko III x Gasper) in front of a hugely excited and supportive Suisse crowd, with the four-time Olympic Gold medallist Beerbaum coming out on top by just 0.81s. Third place went to the relative newcommer in the Longines GCT Argentina's José Maria Larocca with GDE Matrix (Cardento 933 x Maximus 620), who finished one of just two other treble clears 0.84s ahead of 4th placed Gerco Schröder and Cognac Champblanc (Clearway) who jumped his socks off. With his win, Beerbaum has stormed up the tour ranking from 4th to 1st taking a narrow lead of 15 points.


The picturesque lake-side showground was packed for the Grand Prix showdown with spectators thrilled by the incredible sport. Hundreds of guests enjoyed the competition from ring-side seats alongside the arena. With the event taking place in Lausanne, home of the International Olympic Committee, it was fitting that the IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell joined hundreds of guests to watch the best showjumpers in the world in action.


The first round of Luc Musette's Grand Prix course was a twisting, turning gauntlet with a number of bogey fences.Ranking leader Rolf-Göran Bengtsson with his relatively inexperienced Clarimo Ask (Clearway x Caletto II/) lowered two fences in the first round and did not make the top 18 cut for the second round, opening up his No1 spot on the tour ranking to attack from those below him. Hot favourite, World No1 Scott Brash with Hello Annie (Contendro I x For Pleasure), who has won an incredible three rounds this season with Hello Sanctos, retired halfway round after collecting eight faults early on.


Following the World Championships, Ludger Beerbaum came back with a bang in Lausanne making the testing first round course look simple where others had struggled. Edwina Tops-Alexander and Old Chap Tame (Carthago) also produced a careful clear round to put pressure on the riders ranked above and below her on the tour table. Qatar's Bassem Hassan Mohammed, back with his Monaco Grand Prix-winning star mare Victoria (Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve x Cordano), also finished on a zero score in the first round.


The second round was full of tall airy uprights and wide square oxers which took a lot of jumping. First to go was Jane Richard Philips carrying four faults from the first round, who jumped a stylish clear and made the task look achievable. But it wasn't until nine riders later when Gerco Schröder with Cognac Champblanc entered the arena that another clear made it onto the score sheet. Beerbaum followed immediately after with another double clear. But it was a double clear from Britain's John Whitaker with Argento that really raised the roof.


Nr. three was José Maria Larocca on GDE Matrix.Tops-Alexander dropped out of the running in the second round with 14 faults as did Mohammed with 12 faults. But it was a pair of less familiar faces on the tour, José Maria Larocca and Pilar Lucrecia Cordon with Nuage Bleu (Fildor de Largival x Odjak Du Trens), second-to-last and last to go, who really rose to the occasion by going on to jump a double clear to join this world-class trio.


The jump-off course itself offered some daring turn-back options and Gerco Schroder was the pathfinder with his big-jumping grey, riding a careful but neat round and setting a time of 40s dead. Beerbaum was next to go and rode what he described as a 'close to perfect round' to stop the clock at 37.50s. The crowd cheered and a rare smile crept across the German's face as he left the arena patting his horse. Camera's followed Ludger into the warm-up arena where he watched Whitaker's round anxiously.


John Whitaker entered to a warm and welcoming applause, and managed to make up time with his stallion's quick movement across the ground as he tried to claw back some of the seconds saved by Ludger's smooth, big striding Chaman. Argento raced through the finish in 38.31s jumping confidently around a course John described as 'a bit big for me'. The relief on Ludger's face was clear as he watch a long-time rival settle for 2nd place.


The podium in Lausanne.Larocca was last to go and with pole position he knew what he had to do, but the experienced legends were deceptively quick and he could only finished in 39.16s. It was an emotional Grand Prix for many, seeing Ludger Beerbaum and John Whitaker go up against each other once again, and for John to take the first LGCT podium finish of his long and illustrious career was a special moment for many who watched it.


“It’s always nice to win, even at different levels, especially in Lausanne the Olympic Capital. It’s really special. I only come from a small village in Germany so it’s a pleasure to be here in such a prestigious town and to win in front of a lot of world class combinations. Simply, my performance today is really pleasing, my horse jumped fantastic today - I was close to perfect,” said Beerbaum following his win. 


And John Whitaker was fine with being second: “I am very pleased to be second. I would have liked to have won, but Ludger was too fast. My horse is fast, but I took too many strides - my horse jumped fantastic. I am so pleased to be here. Argento has not got the scope and power of a lot of the other horses, but he tries and he is developing more. When I walked the course I thought, ‘this is a bit big for me’ but he jumped it really well.”

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John Whitaker wins the Grand Prix in Amsterdam on Argento

John Whitaker wins the Grand Prix in Amsterdam on Argento | Red Horse News |

They were flying today; John Whitaker and Argento won the Grand Prix in Amsterdam.

John Whitaker made it his second big win for the weekend, when he went all the way to the top in the Anemone Horse Trucks Grand Prix of Amsterdam on Sunday. Riding the powerful eleven year old stallion Argento (Arko Iii x Gasper) – also John’s partner when he won the 1.50 class on Friday – the British living legend rode a tremendous double clear to take home the win in front of a great Dutch crowd. It was an extremely exciting class, that saw home rider Gert Jan Bruggink performing on his very best to take home second on Primeval Dejavu (Heartbreaker x Ramiro) – while Ireland’s 24 year old Alex Duffy did two amazingly impressive rounds to end third on Living The Dream (Toulon x Flamenco Desemilly).


Thirteen riders made it to the jump-off, after producing clear rounds over Louis Konickx tricky track that consisted of thirteen fences that included a triple combination at 6abc (oxer-vertical-oxer) – and then a vertical-vertical combination at 10a and b. Faults spread out, but many had to see a pole or two fall in the triple combination. The jump-off was reduced to eight fences that included a combination, and featured the possibilities for some tight turns followed by stretches to gallop.


The best home rider: Gert Jan Bruggink on Primeval Dejavu ended second.The first clear in the jump-off came from the rider that opened the competition; Alex Duffy on Living The Dream. The Irish rider had produced a beautiful first round, and yet again did a superb performance on the nine year old gelding to go clear and put pressure on those to come with a time of 39.58 seconds. John’s son Robert was the second rider in the ring on Catwalk IV (Colman x Corleone), but unfortunately he had the b-element in the combination down. Anne Sophie Godart followed, but had four down this time around – while Jos Lansink did yet another flawless performance at 39.83 seconds to slot in behind Duffy. The next two riders – Gudrun Pattet and Jeroen Dubbeldam, one of five home riders in the jump-off – both had fences down, before Katharina Offel did a great clear on the super bouncy B Once Z (Baloubet du Rouet x Lavaletto) to slot into third.


Then it was time for John Whitaker. Ice cold as always, John went into the ring – and with a super turn back to the combination midway around and then a great gallop on the line from the triple to the following vertical followed by another tight turn to the penultimate vertical and seven strides to the last oxer – John took the lead on 38.69 seconds, shaving off 0.89 on Duffy’s time. It looked hard to beat indeed!


Third placed Alex Duffy rode two breathtaking rounds on Living The Dream.Two home riders followed, and the first – Wout-Jan van der Schans had one down while Gert Jan Bruggink gave the home crowds value for their ticket money when he raced around the track taking out one stride to do six on the final line – slotting in right behind John on 0.30 leaving the ring a very happy man. Leopold van Asten really gave it a try on the fantastic VDL Groep Zidane (Heartbreaker x Calando I) and had the fastest round of the day at 37.14 seconds, but on the expense of having the final oxer down. The last two riders could not do anything about the top four – John, Gert Jan, Alex and Jos – but Gregory Wathelet and the lovely Sea Coast Forlap DC (Querlybet Hero x Heartbreaker) slotted into fifth ahead of Katharina Offel.

Keyflow® Team Member's insight:

Huge congratulations again to John, winning the Grand Prix today in Amsterdam on Argento, their second big win of the show! \


Our favorite quote from John: “I think it’s my first Grand Prix win here in Amsterdam, I was second in 1985 – so it took me a long time to win it!”

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John Whitaker makes it a win in DKB-Riders Tour opening in Hagen

John Whitaker makes it a win in DKB-Riders Tour opening in Hagen | Red Horse News |

Living legend John Whitaker celebrating yet another victory. Photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.

Living legend John Whitaker landed the victory in the four star Grand Prix in Hagen on Sunday riding the 11 year old stallion Argento (Arko III x Gasper). The Grand Prix also served as the first leg of the DKB-Riders Tour 2013. It was a win that came by the closest of margins though, as John had Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum breathing down his neck only 0.1 seconds behind him in the second round. Thirteen riders moved forward from the first to the second round. Twelve of these were clear in the first round, and John’s son Robert Whitaker was the fastest four-faulter that got to join them in the chase against the clock in front of a record-crowd at this wonderful event.

The first round track in Hagen consisted of thirteen fences and sixteen jumps, and it was the white vertical at fence two that caused most head ache for the riders. In the second round the course was reduced down to seven fences and eight jumps with lots of stretches for some galloping. The fastest clear rider from the first round went last in the second.

The well-named Unbelievable finishes second with Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum in the saddle.John came in almost midway in the second round, and kept going forward on the impressive Argento around the track – not once pulling back. With a time of 38.50 seconds, the British veteran pushed then-leader and in-form Luciana Diniz down to second after she had produced a great second clear aboard the nine year old mare Fit For Fun (For Pleasure x Fabriano). After John it was time for Meredith, and aboard the well-named Unbelievable (Manhattan x Democraat) – which is exactly was this horse is – the German rider really tried to go for the win. Meredith almost made it – as she crossed the finish line the clock stopped at 38.60 seconds pushing into second ahead of Luciana. Just as last weekend in Paris, Unbelievable really impressed - this horse is one to watch! None of those to come could catch the top three; Switzerland’s Paul Estermann and Castlefield Eclipse (Obos Quality) had to settle for fifth after showing off some great jumping, and Mohammed Ghanem Al Hajiri slotted into fourth after two great rounds on Murtajiz Al Hawajer (Pilgrim x Capitol I).

Keyflow® Team Member's insight:

John Whitaker on Argento, a son of Nick Skelton's former top ride Arko; "My horse is super careful and really competitive. I've try to produce him slowly because he is so careful. He is one of Arko's first offspring and he is fantastic. Maybe he hasn't got the skills for the absolute biggest classes, but in these classes he is really competitive!"

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Some Monday Morning Humour...

Some Monday morning humour...


The Horses Handbook...


CHEWING: Make a contribution to the architectural industry.... chew on your stall wall, the fence or any other wooden item.


CHILDREN: Human children require much nurturing in order to develop a healthy self-ego. Never offer your right-lead canter to an adult rider. However, permit the child the honor of the right lead. Older children may be denied the first one or two canter cues, in order to prepare them for adulthood. Very young children MUST be given the right lead on the very first try.


DEATH: When one of your best turn-out friends has gone to the Great Pasture in the Sky, your human attendant will require much comforting, as they themselves fear that they will go next. Humans are instinctively afraid of death. Offer your comfort by making deep hacking and wheezing coughs, that produce voluminous amounts of phlegm. Your human will be greatly comforted, knowing that he's not the next one to go.


DINING ETIQUETTE: Always pull all of your hay out of the hay rack, especially right after your stall has been cleaned, so you can mix the hay with your fresh bedding. This challenges your human, the next time they're cleaning your stall - and we all know how humans love a challenge (that's what they said when they bought you as a two year old, right?).


DOORS: Any door, even partially open, is always an invitation for you and your human to exercise. Bolt out of the door and trot around, just out of reach of your human, who will frantically run after and chase you. The longer it goes on, the more fun it is for all involved.


FARRIER: The farrier is an object on which you can take out your frusteration without danger of limiting your food supply.


FRESH BEDDING: It is perfectly permissible to urinate in the middle of your freshly bedded stall to let your humans know how much you appreciate their hard work.


GOING FOR TRAIL RIDES: Rules of the road: When out for a trail with your owner, never relieve yourself on your own lawn.


GROUND MANNERS: Ground manners are very important to humans; break as much of the ground in and around the barn as possible. This lets the ground know who's boss and impresses your human.


HOLES: Rather than pawing and digging a BIG hole in the middle of the paddock or stall and upsetting your human, dig a lot of smaller holes all over so they won't notice. If you arrange a little pile of dirt on one side of each hole, maybe they'll think it's gophers. There are never enough holes in the ground. Strive daily to do your part to help correct this problem.


HUMOR: Humans possess a thing called 'a sense of humor'. This is a delightful emotional sensation that is caused by the sight or sound of things that are out of the ordinary. You can facilitate this by providing unusual situations to trigger the laughter response. On the first day of a 3 day weekend, when your attendant shows up with some of his turn-out buddies, fart loudly, then fall to the ground and stick your tongue out. The sights and sounds you provide will stimulate the necessary laughter response.


IMPROPER SHOES: Your human attendant will often risk his safety by wearing shoes that might not provide full protection from hazardous ranch situations. You can correct (not punish) this behaviour by applying pressure to the unprotected foot. Humans are known to move away from pressure, but only after making loud noises. Keep pressure applied until your human responds correctly to this cue.


MARRIAGE: Your personal human attendant may also have a spouse, who professes nonequinity. Whenever your attendant brings the non-equus spouse to visit, you are to lavish unimaginable amounts of charm on the non-equus spouse, and more importantly, you must act fearful of your personal human attendant. This process must continue until such time as the non-equus spouse converts to full equinity, or 'teases' your attendant with a 2X4, as a prelude to the mating ritual.


NEIGHING: Because you are a horse, you are expected to neigh. So neigh - a lot. Your owners will be very happy to hear you protecting the barn and communicating with other horses. Especially late at night while they are sleeping safely in their beds. There is no more secure feeling for a human than to keep waking up in the middle of the night and hearing you, "Neigh, neigh, neigh..."


NUZZLING: Always take a BIG drink from your water trough immediately before nuzzling your human. Humans prefer clean muzzles. Be ready to rub your head on the area of your human that you just nuzzled to dry it off, too.


PLAYING: If you lose your footing while frolicking in the paddock, use one of the other horses to absorb your fall so you don't injure yourself. Then the other horse will get a visit from the mean ol' vet, not you!


RAIN: Humans are generally little busy bodies, like beavers, who need to constantly build and modify. During the rain, stick either your head or butt beyond the reach of your roof. Your human will instinctively (being the stimulus/response creatures that they are) move you to a new stall, and make a new roof for you later.


SHOEING: Humans are creatures driven by instant gratification. After a good foot trimming or shoeing, trot smartly around afterwards to show your human how nice the shoes fit. The next day, drag one foot when you walk, to provide your little busy body with yet another project to work on.


SHOTS: Humans are characteristically nervous when providing veterinary care for you. In order to soothe your human, raise your head, immediately after the injection, turning the leadrope into a handy tool with wich you can swing your human. Genetically predisposed, humans are comforted by swinging back and forth on the lead rope while screaming primeval noises.


STOMPING CATS: When standing on cross ties, make sure you never -- quite

--- stomp on the barn cat's tail. It spoils all the fun.


SNORTING: Humans like to be snorted on. Everywhere. It is your duty, as the family horse, to accommodate them.


VISITORS: Quickly determine which guest is afraid of horses. Rock back and forth on the cross-ties, neighing loudly and pawing playfully at this person. If the human backs away and starts crying, swoosh your tail, stamp your feet and nicker gently to show your concern.

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Stuff | Red Horse News |

As he relaxes in Hawke's Bay with a glass of pinot over the Christmas period, Equestrian Sports New Zealand chief executive Jim Ellis will cut a satisfied figure.


His sport is in good shape - both on the international and domestic scene - and when he returns to work in the new year, he'll have an additional $4 million at his disposal for the four years leading into the Rio Olympics.

Eventing is the biggest winner from the High Performance Sport New Zealand funding handouts, jumping from $3.2 million over the four years leading up to the London Olympics, to $7.2 million for the current four-year cycle - a whopping increase of 125 per cent.


Ellis insists every dollar is necessary to achieve the ultimate goal, team gold in Rio.


The biggest expenditure next year will be on New Zealand's participation on the new FEI Nations Cup, a team competition. New Zealand is to send a team to all five events in 2013 as they prepare for the 2014 world championships.

"Rather than just competing as a team at the Aachen festival (in Germany), we will compete five times, and in order to do that we have to get the entire support team together each time, so that is a significant increase in costs," Ellis said.


ESNZ will also increase its spending on coaching, particularly enhancing its dressage training, traditionally the weakest of the three disciplines for New Zealand.


There will be "natural increases" in costs to their programme in the UK, where all leading New Zealand riders - and national coach Eric Duvander - are based.


Crucially, they have re-signed the highly rated Duvander and ESNZ's New Zealand based high performance director Sarah Harris through until the 2016 Olympics, while a part-time England-based administrator will be employed in a new position to help ease logistical issues that arise from the time difference between New Zealand and England.


In addition, ESNZ have been given $275,000 in performance enhancement grants (PEGs) to distribute in 2013 but, unlike many other sports, the money does not simply go to athletes to help with living expenses.


"They must prove the expense is being used to directly enhance their performance before the money is released," Ellis said.


"We will put a certain amount towards individual performance plan (IPP) investment, and the PEGs money would get put into that pot, though it will primarily be targeted toward the top-end riders."


Duvander and Harris will meet with the top riders next month and discuss IPPs for 2013, and what level of investment will be made. That is then reviewed quarterly.


"It could be that rider X gets a lot more than rider Y, depending on their respective needs.


"We believe we can win a gold medal in the team event at Rio if all five of the starting combinations are capable of winning an individual medal, and in order to get to that point we have got to be in a better place than we were in London.


"It's about how we target funding to individual riders which is specific to them and what they need, and what horses they need, to ensure they are capable of finishing in the medals.


"What that means for a Clarke (Johnstone) or Jock (Paget) or Jonelle (Richards) will be different to what it means for Andrew (Nicholson) and slightly different again for Mark (Todd)."


Ellis put their success at the funding table down to several indicators of potential future success; the Olympic bronze medal, team and individual bronze (Nicholson) at the 2010 world championships, and the fact three riders are currently ranked in the world's top six, with Nicholson No 1, Paget No 4 and Todd No 6.


But he expressed disappointment that showjumping and dressage, the most popular equestrian disciplines on a world scale, and para-equestrian were all denied funding.

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NZ Eventing Receives 120 Percent Funding Increase

NZ Eventing Receives 120 Percent Funding Increase | Red Horse News |
Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ) welcomes today’s HPSNZ announcement of an increase in HP investment for Equestrian Eventing over the four year cycle to the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

ESNZ has been granted the largest increase of any sport and will receive $1.8m per year for the next four years to Rio; a total of $7.2m compared to $3.2m in the previous 4 year cycle.

The funding is specifically for the Eventing HP programme and the investment reflects the potential for Eventing to add further medals in Rio to its London team bronze medal. This potential is highlighted in the latest FEI world rankings which lists 3 Kiwis (Andrew Nicholson 1st, Jonathan Paget 4th, Mark Todd 6th) in the top 6 in the world at the end of the 2012 northern hemisphere season.

Despite submitting detailed applications for Dressage, Jumping and Para-Equestrian, ESNZ has not been granted any investment for these disciplines during this funding round which reflects HPSNZ’s stated strategic goals of investing in sports with a strong probability of a medal winning performance at the 2016 Olympics.

While disappointing for these parts of the ESNZ HP Programme, ESNZ is dedicated to seeking both internal and external financial support, including commercial partnerships, for these programmes to ensure that performance targets can be met at both the World Equestrian Games in Normandy in 2014 and the Rio Olympics.

ESNZ did not submit a funding application for Endurance as its non-Olympic status requires higher current performance standards to attract investment. It is hoped that performance at WEG 2014 will enable ESNZ to apply for Endurance programme investment from 2015 onwards.

ESNZ will also receive $275,000 per annum in Performance Enhancement Grants (PEGs) which are targeted towards Eventing HP riders’ individual performance plans.
Keyflow® Team Member's insight:

It will be interesting to see where Eventing NZ invests these extra funds. A seemingy wise start point would be securing combinations through horse ownership and bolstering rider income.  

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Key-Rider John Whitaker Wins again!!

Key-Rider John Whitaker Wins again!! | Red Horse News |

While we have been lamenting the demise of the british weather, Key-Rider John Whitaker has been out winning Showjumping classes! Here is a round-up from Saturday's Grand Prix class at Odense, Denmark..


A very difficult course left only five riders in the jump off in tonight´s CSI3* Grand Prix jumping. In the end a close battle between John Whitaker on Argento and Marcus Ehning on Cornado NRW left the British rider victorius in the big challenge.


The Whitaker family has been very successful in the showjumping classes at JBK Horse Shows so far. Tonight was no exception as John Whitaker won the CSI3* Grand Prix with Argento. The course was difficult - especially the tripple combination troubled the riders.

Only five riders managed to go clear in the first round. The atmosphere in the arena was intense during the jump off. Whitaker´s Argento seemed fast and sharp from the very begninning and finished with a clear round in 33,24 seconds. John Whitaker took home 100.000 Dkr. and a horsetrailer from Mustang.

Marcus Ehning was the last rider to go on Cornado NRW. The athletic grey stallion easily overcame the fences - but the couple could not beat Whitaker´s fast round and stopped the clock at 33.30 seconds. Marcus Ehning took home 62.000 Dkr and a fur coat.

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Nicholson wins again!

Nicholson wins again! | Red Horse News |
World number one Andrew Nicholson has scored another top win, this time at the Boekelo Military International Horse Trials in The Netherlands this morning.
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Key-Rider Tim Price delighted with third at Lignieres

Key-Rider Tim Price delighted with third at Lignieres | Red Horse News |

Nicholas Touzaint may have won the CCI 2* at Lignières in central France this weekend but New Zealander Tim Price was delighted with his clear show jumping round and third place.

Tim Price and his beloved 19 year old horse Vortex claimed a spot on the podium with Tim saying that this may well be the horse’s swansong

“We’ll see how he feels in 2013 about coming out to compete again” said Tim “But he is a real favourite of ours”

Tim bought Vortex as a seven year old and competed him in New Zealand before selling him to Sweden then bought him back as a twelve year old. Since then he has competed him at Badminton, Pau and several other 3 and 4 Star events.

Eveline Bodenmüller of Switzerland riding Waldmann maintained her second place with a clear round

Another New Zealand rider Jesse Campbell won the Best 7 Year Old Horse Trophy with Lancelot 359 and this combination finished ninth in the 2*

Tim also finished 11th in CIC 1* riding Bango

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Horse of the Year Show kicks off - Good luck to Key-Rider John Whitaker

Horse of the Year Show kicks off - Good luck to Key-Rider John Whitaker | Red Horse News |

Horse of the Year Show kicks off. In the Andrews Bowen international arena some of the world's biggest names in showjumping will battle it out for the top prizes.

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The Wombles to feature in the individual musical freestyle.

The Wombles may be better known for inhabiting Wimbledon Common but a Kiwi dressage rider will bring them to south London's Greenwich Park at the Paralympics on Tuesday. (Today)

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Irish Sport Horse's are proven performers

Irish Sport Horse's are proven performers | Red Horse News |

Brilliant games medal triumphs do Ireland proud - Irish Independant. With four horses in the top 10 of eventing at the London Olympics, the reputation of the Irish Sport Horse remains strong.

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Rabbit show-jumping takes off

Rabbit show-jumping takes off | Red Horse News |

That rabbits like to hop is hardly a secret. But now European rabbit enthusiasts have harnessed their bunnies' natural talents to create a new spectator sport... rabbit showjumping.


Invented in Sweden in the early Eighties, Kaninhop involves bunnies bouncing their way around courses consisting of small jumps of varying height and length.

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Ramsay Family Purchases Jonelle Richards’ Olympic Mount Flintstar

Ramsay Family Purchases Jonelle Richards’ Olympic Mount Flintstar | Red Horse News |
There’s something really exciting about talking to a young up-and-coming rider who has the drive and passion to succeed. Calvin Ramsay chatted with me last night about his new horse Flintstar, who arrived in Louisiana
Keyflow® Team Member's insight:

This is a great story from Eventing Nation on Flintstar, former mount of Key Rider Jonelle Richards - now on his new quest to bring a young rider through the ranks in the states.   

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The Whitakers do a wipeout in Amsterdam

The Whitakers do a wipeout in Amsterdam | Red Horse News |
John Whitaker and Argento won in Amsterdam. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson. The Whitakers were on fire in Amsterdam on Friday evening, with John and Michael taking home the first and second place in the
Keyflow® Team Member's insight:

Key Riders John and Michael are on fire at the moment coming in first and second in the 1.50 De Telegraaf Prize in Amsterdam on Friday night. 


Apparently Argento loves his specialist show-jumping feed Whitaker Bros Jumpmix - check it out here:

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The London GCT location confirmed

The London GCT location confirmed | Red Horse News |

It is finally confirmed that the London leg of the Global Champions Tour 2013 will be staged at The International Quarter, adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, cementing the extraordinary equestrian legacy from the London Olympic Games. Global Champions Tour will bring world class 5* show jumping to the capital from June 6 - 9 2013 with the full support of Mayor of London Boris Johnson and his Chief of Staff Sir Edward Lister. It will be one of the first international sporting events in the Olympic Park since the London Games and comes only weeks before the site opens fully to the public.

The high profile international event will be staged next to the world famous Olympic Stadium and other state-of-the-art Olympic venues like the aquatics centre. An application to stage the event at Kensington Gardens was turned down by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. The Olympic venue will be a major visitor attraction and a stunning addition to the prestigious Global Champions Tour circuit.

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Longleat to host unaffiliated event in 2013

A NEW venue for unaffiliated eventing has been added to the programme for 2013. The sport will be returning to Longleat, at Lord Bath’s estate in Wiltshire.


A two and three-day event will be held there from August 30 - September 3 this year.


Affiliated eventing had ceased there after 25 years in 2011, when British

Eventing abandoned the venue because of ‘changes in land management policy’.


The new company running the unaffiliated event says it is working with the estate’s approval to provide a much-needed event for grass-roots riders in the south.


In order to avoid any conflict, the event is taking place outside the safari park’s busiest time of the year - avoiding the peak time in mid June, when the British


Eventing affiliated event used to take place.

There will be two classes at each level - 80cm and 90cm for the two-day event and 9cm and 1m for the three-day.


Course designer will be Eric Winter, and it will be built by one of the London 2012 course-building team.


The cross-country course is intended to be based more in the park with roads, tracks and steeplechase sections.


There has already been a demand for entries, but according to Longleat Horse Trials Ltd, headed by Chris Eden, it will cater for up to 500 entries, with people still able to enter as normal before the event.

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UK Sport Funding for Equestrianism, 2013-2017 - British Eventing

UK Sport Funding for Equestrianism, 2013-2017 - British Eventing | Red Horse News |
UK Sport funding figures for the Rio Olympiad were announced today, 18 December, totalling an investment of £347 million into elite sport over the next four years. Of 42 sports receiving investment equestrianism secured an award of £17,929,600 for Olympic Equestrian Sport and £3,782,800 for Paralympic Equestrian sport for the four year cycle 2013-2017, a total of £21,712,400.

The award places equestrian as a priority one funded sport alongside the likes of cycling, rowing, sailing, gymnastics and athletics. This allocation of Lottery and Exchequer money, via UK Sport, enables the sport to continue to maximise its successes on the World, Olympic and Paralympic stages as well as helping to develop elite riders for future success in the four Olympic and Paralympic disciplines of showjumping, dressage, para-equestrian dressage and eventing.

The funding has established the World Class Performance and Development Programmes as the envy of the international equestrian world. Its aim is to have in place a sustainable system that can deliver more medals on the international stage now and in the future through the provision of a range of services and support.

Chief Executive Andrew Finding commented: “2012 has been a very good year for Equestrian sport and we are thrilled with this award. Success comes with outstanding team work and I want to pay tribute to a Government that’s put so much faith in sport, to UK Sport, the National Lottery players, British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping, the owners of the horses, Performance Director Will Connell, the support staffs and coaches and of course the athletes who deliver the results.

“Liz Nicholl, UK Sport’s Chief Executive, told me that ours was ‘a very, very good bid’. This was made possible with the entire operation working in a single minded, mutually supportive and focused manner. Now we can concentrate on more medal success in Rio with the broad support we need – it continues to be an exciting time.”

Although the funding represents a significant increase on paper from the previous Olympiad, differences in the way that this must be spent means a direct comparison is not straightforward. Equestrian Performance Director Will Connell added caution: “2012 was a very satisfactory conclusion to a journey that started in 2005 when London was awarded the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games. We have been working on the Rio plan since 2011 and now we have the funding figures we will be able to add the final detail. We also need to look at the detail of the Rio funding Agreement as there will be some changes from the London Olympiad and way the funding is managed and spent.”

“We are extremely grateful to the National Lottery and for the Exchequer funding allocated to elite sport. The funding makes a difference and we look forward to working with UK Sport over the coming years.”

With news that substantial funding is now available for the coming four years from both Sport England and UK Sport, the future looks bright for work to progress in equestrian’s successful elite and grassroots programmes. The British Equestrian Federation will continue to work with its Member Bodies and the wider equestrian community to ensure a lasting legacy from 2012.
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Olympic Medallist Mary King: 'My daughter can't wait to beat me' - Telegraph (London)

Olympic Medallist Mary King: 'My daughter can't wait to beat me' - Telegraph (London) | Red Horse News |
Victoria Lambert meets legendary horsewoman Mary King, who won a silver medal at the London Olympics, and whose daughter Emily is set to match her mother’s prowess.


As the nights draw in and winter makes its chilly return, memories of glorious Olympic sunny days at Greenwich are getting harder to conjure up – even for the medallists.


Three months ago, three-day eventer Mary King was dazzling us on her way to a silver medal at London 2012 on Imperial Cavalier.

But now, the glamour and stardust tidied away, she is more likely to be breaking ice on the horses’ water buckets in the pre-dawn gloom.

Not that she would have it any other way.

@FranJurga writes: These articles are getting harder and harder to find, but here's a lengthy interview with champion eventer Mary King of Great Britain. So many articles these days are short and sweet and leave you wanting more. Cheers to The Telegraph for letting Victoria Lambert stretch her descriptive prose so we feel we get to know Mary King's children, Freddie and Emily, a bit.

And Mary? Yes, and Mary too, but we feel like we've known her all along. But a good article like this just brings us that much closer...can't you see those Olympic medals hanging on wall pegs on the way into the loo? 

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Eventing Young Horses on Show

Eventing Young Horses on Show | Red Horse News |

This weekend will see some of our NZ UK based Eventing riders competed their younger horses in the FEI World Championship for Young Eventing Horses in Le Lion d’Angers in France.

The championship class for the 6 Year Old horses will be contended for by 44 combinations, with NZ being represented by Mark Todd riding NZB Port Royal (by Garrison Royal out of Robertson Maid), Caroline Powell on Mary and Cameron Crawfords Up Up and Away (Irish Sport Horse by Pussance out of Colmore Frolic) and Lizzie Brown with Bulana (KWPN by Tygo out of Sulana.

Caroline & Up Up and Away Mark & NZB Port Royal

The 7 Year Old championship features 66 combinations with just one NZ combination looking for the championship title that being Jonelle Richards riding Faerie Dianimo (SHBGB by Keystone Dimaggio out of Faerie Dazzler VII) bred and owned by Trisha Richards.

Lizzie & Bulana Jonelle & Faerie Dianimo

The initial trot up has been held and all NZ combinations have been declared fit to start.

The dressage phase for both classes will take place this evening NZ time, 8.00pm for the 6 Year Old and 12.30am Friday for the 7 Year Old. Cross Country takes place on Saturday with the final Showjumping Phase on Sunday.

Mark hard at work Caroline with owner Cameron Crawford

To keep up with the action over the weekend ensure you go to the following links:

6 Year OId Start List & Results

7 Year Old Start List & Results

To Watch LIVE Action of the Championship

The Event website

Photos by Libby Law Photography NZL

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John Whitaker scores double of wins at HOYS

John Whitaker and Argento set an unbeatable time round a clever track to win the Zinc Management Trophy on Friday at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS)
Create your own
Riders who were clear in the first round had to choose a six-fence route in the jump-off, testing both their riding and navigational skills.
Watch our interview with John above to find out how he beat Billy Twomey, and which fellow Whitaker stole his tactics.
Five Fence Challenge
Earlier in the day, John also shared the winning honours in the Harry Jo & Co Five Fence Challenge with fellow Brit Tim Stockdale.
The class could have gone to one round more, but as the only two remaining to contest the top prize after four rounds, and with some fences standing a whopping 1.80m, Tim and John decided to share first prize.
“Because it was going to be a win for two Brits in front of a home crowd, we decided to share it,” said Tim. “My horse jumped really well, so it was nice to be able to reward him for doing so.”
John Whitaker agreed, and joked: “We are both a bit old, so it’s a relief! It might have been a different matter if there was a foreign rider in the class though.”

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Key Rider Tim Price chasing French Olympian at Lignieres

Key Rider Tim Price chasing French Olympian at Lignieres | Red Horse News |

The first five riders now have only four points between them which should make for an exciting showjumping finale on today where one rail could have big implications.

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Whitaker wins at Spruce Meadows

Whitaker wins at Spruce Meadows | Red Horse News |

The 1.60 meter CANA Cup got off to a fast start, seeing British show jumping veteran Michael Whitaker (GBR) taking home the first place ribbon. Nine of the 42 horse/rider combinations moved into the jump off after tackling the Leopoldo Palacios (VEN) course with 15 jumping obstacles over 490 meters. This is Whitaker’s second year with his 10 year old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Viking. After a building year in 2011, Whitaker and Viking are looking forward to competing once again at Spruce Meadows. “It’s the atmosphere here. The courses are hard, and everyone expects them to be hard. That way, if you win, you know you’re the best”.

John Simpson, President and CEO, Cana Group of Companies presenting the winners’ trophy to Michael Whitaker. Photo Credits: Spruce Meadows Media Services.
CANA Cup - Top 10
1- Michael Whitaker GBR Viking
2- Christian Ahlmann GER Taloubet Z
3- Jerome Hurel FRA OHM De Ponthual
4- Shane Breen IRL Balloon
5- Ian Millar CAN Star Power
6- Andrew Bourns IRL Roundthorn Madios
7- Tina Fletcher GBR Hello Sailor
8- Olivier Philippaerts BEL Cabrio Van De Heffinck
9- Beezie Madden USA Coral Reef Via Volo
10- Jur Vrieling NED VDL Bubalu

The action continues tomorrow in the International ring at Spruce Meadows. The Mercedes-Benz ‘Evening of the horse’ begins at 5:15pm with the Encana Cup, followed by the ATCO Electric six-bar circuit, then a performance by the Celle Stallions and a fireworks show.

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Key-Rider Jonelle Richards reveals wedding plans

Key-Rider Jonelle Richards reveals wedding plans | Red Horse News |

Motueka's Olympic bronze medallist Jonelle Richards will return home this summer for another treasured event - her wedding.

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Gunner's love of horses leads to London

Gunner's love of horses leads to London | Red Horse News |

In an ironic twist, Kiwi Paralympic dressage rider Anthea Gunner's love of horses has taken the 30-year-old to places many can only dream about - Both in terms of nightmares you just wish you could wake up from and dreams you hope never end.

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