John McGinty took up the cause of more adult amateur classes at dressage shows because it was an important issue to him—and he knew it was important to many other people as well.
McGinty, a hunter and jumper judge who competes his Dutch Warmblood Playboy at the small tour as well as working full time as a financial advisor, earned a huge victory with the announcement that the Fédération Equestre Internationale approved a new amateur CDI division for 2015. The Adequan Global Dressage Festival will offer the classes starting with their first CDI-W of the year, Jan. 7-11.
The Showjumping Fund of the Netherlands, the syndicate group that owns Zenith SFN, Jeroen Dubbeldam’s partner for Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (France) individual and team gold, has agreed to keep the horse with Dubbeldam at least through the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Phillip Dutton’s Rolex Kentucky CCI**** winner Connaught was euthanized today, Sept. 17, due to complications from old age. He was 21.
Connaught, an Irish Sport Horse (Ballysimon—Broomehill Rogue, Royal Rogue) owned by Bruce Duchossois, started his advanced career with Julie Richards before Dutton took over the ride in 2004. The pair’s partnership didn’t come easily from the start. Connaught’s lofty jumping style meant the horse grew fatigued on longer courses, and the gelding didn’t initially understand sunken roads. Dutton had to build one at his True Prospect Farm.
After the Sakhir CEI** (Bahrain) in February, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Mubarak Al Khalifa received a yellow card and an approximately $560 fine when video footage surfaced of a groom chasing and apparently striking his horse, Tarabic Carl. The Bahraini National Federation also suspended the rider and the groom involved in the incident until the end of the endurance season, April 25 of this year.
Often the cones phase is filled with penalties and leaderboard switches, but at today’s conclusion of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games combined driving event, the top nine finished the overall competition in the same ranking as when they ended the marathon phase. Boyd Exell took individual gold, while U.S. driver Chester Weber earned silver and Theo Timmerman bronze for the Netherlands.
Orto, a horse ridden by Sara Squires at this weekend’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in Great Britain, was euthanized after hitting his stifle on fence 19 on the cross-country. The fence was part of the Rolex combination, and there was no fall of horse or rider.
If you’re looking at the scores from today’s jumping at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, you’ll see Beezie Madden finished second.
But starting tomorrow, it’s a whole new game. The top four come back, the scores are wiped, and they all trade horses to fight for individual show jumping medals. How do you prepare for something like that?
The show jumping for today is half over here at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, with 29 riders having just finished their first course on this final individual qualifying day. Beezie Madden dropped from first to third when Cortes ‘C’ ticked the back rail of the oxer at fence 5. Sweden’s Rolf-Göran Bengtsson took the lead with his clear round on Casall Ask.
Even though he’d just taken the lead, Boyd Exell wasn’t happy with the score he earned during his driven dressage test this morning. He knew who was coming.
That “who” is Chester Weber, a notoriously strong dressage driver. And Weber's impressive tearm trotted into the ring this afternoon and did what everyone expected them to do, laying down a score of 32.21 penalties for the lead. Australia’s Exell isn’t far behind him on 35.51.