Quote of the Week
“I’ve seen the greatest rider lose their confidence and not be able to achieve what they normally do. Any win in a five-star, in that setting, with these jumps, it does tremendous things for your confidence.”
—Canadian Olympian Eric Lamaze reflecting after his big win this weekend with Fine Lady 5 in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup CSI5* at Spruce Meadows. He last won the class on the famous stallion, Hickstead, back in 2011.
Shakeups on the WEG Show Jumping Shortlist
What’s the Word?
This week, the United States Equestrian Federation named eight show jumping athletes to its revised shortlist for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) in Tryon this September. Its original list, released in April, included 10 riders: Jamie Barge, Margie Engle, Kent Farrington, Lauren Hough, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden, Devin Ryan, Jessica Springsteen, Adrienne Sternlicht and McLain Ward.
Shortly after the initial names were announced, Springsteen withdrew herself from consideration, stating the following: “After speaking further with my team and my owners, we felt that the WEG was not an ideal target for RMF Swinny Du Parc this year.”
Hough was the next to go in early June after disclosing that her top horse, Ohlala, would be sidelined for the rest of the season with an injury. And this week, former World #1 Kent Farrington also withdrew after reevaluating the form of his top mount, Gazelle. Farrington, himself, has just returned to competition following an injury earlier this year.
Lillie Keenan was the first to be added to the team, replacing Jessica Springsteen in May. Keenan boasts two championship-level horses on her string: longtime mount Super Sox, and Fibonacci 17, the former partner of Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum. The U.S. decided to hold off on naming replacements for Hough until after Observation Events at CSIO’s Sopot and Rotterdam, and this week, following Farrington's decision, revealed that they would proceed with the eight-rider shortlist as it stands.
The deadline for FEI nominated entries is August 13, with the closing date for definite entries on September 10th. At that time, Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland will recommend up to five athletes and 10 horses for the squad, meaning all eyes will be on the elite eight—Madden, Barge, Engle, Keenan, Kraut, Ryan, Sternlicht, and Ward—for the next month and change. Will U.S. Team veterans Madden, Ward, Engle, and Kraut once again lead the charge, or will the young guns with serious horse power steal the show? The next chance to find out is on one of the world's biggest stages, CSIO5* Aachen (July 17 – 22), in which Madden, Engle, Kraut, Ryan, and Ward will ride.
The Week’s Big Drama…
(c) The Plaid Horse
What does ‘SafeSport’ mean—and who are we protecting?
Following highly publicized reports of longtime sexual abuse perpetrated by famed California trainer Jimmy Williams, the #MeToo movement has hit home in the hunter/jumper world in a big way. So what steps have been taken under USEF’s new ‘Safe Sport’ initiative, and how will it affect the sport as we know it? Timothy Wickes investigates.
If You Can Only Watch One Round…
Watch Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan and Suma’s Zorro win the class of their lives.
(Featured Photo Credit: Stefano Grasso/LGCT)
On Saturday in the jump-off of the LGCT Grand Prix of Paris, Sameh El Dahan was not considered the favorite. After Ireland’s Bertram Allen laid down a blazing fast time with Molly Malone V, it was LGCT Grand Prix of Cannes winner and the last to go, Peder Fredricson, who was expected to give chase. But you can’t account for heart, and riding Suma’s Zorro—the smallest horse in the class and his partner of more than seven years—El Dahan brought down the house with this round, and promptly gave all the credit to his mare (watch below).
I’m not crying, you’re crying.
PonyApp Pro Tips
Twelve shipping dos and don’ts that might surprise you.
It's easy to get complacent when shipping your horse, especially if it's something you do all the time. But whether you're sending him commercially or hauling on your own, following a few, simple rules of the road every time you travel will not only save you time and aggravation, it will ensure that your horse gets where he's going safety and comfortably.
What’s bay, four-legged, and brave as a lion? That would be Ashlee Meeus Bond’s seven-year-old Westphalian gelding, Donatello 141, caught in slow-mo this week making a giant open water look like a canter through the park. Bond, who began riding for Israel last month, added “Donnie” to her string earlier this year. Asking for a friend—are there any more where he came from?