EVEN MORE PASSION . spring 2019 . $12
Volume 08 . 2018
DESIGNING A MUSICAL FREESTYLE EQUINE ARTIST ANDY SCOTT LUGANO DIAMONDS GIVING
NEW CONTRIBUTORS CAVALETTI CROSSFIT GOOD READS
COURSE DESIGNER ALAN WADE
TEAM USA’S MCLAIN WARD
& aDRIENNE STERNLICHT
Introducing Charles Ancona’s “Haute Couture”
NE WPORT BE ACH | ASPEN | PALM BE ACH | 866. 584.2666 | LUGANODIAMONDS.COM
EQ AM MAGAZINE UNITED BY THE PASSION FOR HORSES . VOLUME 10 . 2019. publisher
CLR Media, LLC editor
Carina Roselli Editorial Assistants
Lays Coutinho - Afonso Westphal Contributing Writers
Jean French - Bob Grisel, DVM - Lisa Hellmer Olivia Lagoy-Weltz - Nelson Pessoa Carina Roselli - Molly Sorge SPECIAL THANKS TO
Olivia Lagoy-Weltz Hunter Messineo of Connie Sawyer, LLC Jennifer Wood of Jump Media, LLC photographers
Charles Ancona Doug Finstad - Carina Roselli COVER Photo:
Charles Ancona graphic designer
Afonso Westphal WEB DESIGNER
Chris Roselli ADVERTISING SALES
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Equestre Americas became EQ AM Magazine in Spring 2018. EQ AM is published four times a year and is distributed at select equestrian locations, shows, newsstands, and is available by subscription for home delivery or online viewing. SUBSCRIBE at www.eq-am.com/subscribe - TO PURCHASE PAST ISSUES contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org FOR SUBSCRIPTION MANAGEMENT AND ADDRESS CHANGES contact us at email@example.com SEND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR to firstname.lastname@example.org
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@EQAMMAG 4 | EQ AM MAGAZINE
USEF SAFE SPORT TRAINING REQUIREMENT Starting January 1, 2019, if you are a USEF Competing Member 18 years of age or older you are required to complete the core Safe Sport Training within 30 days of activating your membership. If you do not complete the training, you are ineligible to participate in all USEF activities including competitions. TAKE the SAFE SPORT TRAINING at USEF.org by logging into your member dashboard.
EQ AM MAGAZINE UNITED BY THE PASSION FOR HORSES . VOLUME 10 . 2019.
CONTRIBUTORS Bob Grisel, DVM Dr. Bob Grisel graduated from the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine with honors and having received multiple awards. Bob’s recent publications focus on lameness, especially the correlation between abnormal gait characteristics and specific sources of pain in the horse. His new book, “Equine Lameness for the Laymen” is excerpted in this issue.
Jean French Jean French is the Owner/Instructor/Trainer of The Natural Connection, Inc. located in Linden, Virginia. In operation for over a decade, training in both western and English disciplines, her life has been dedicated to helping thousands of people learn the language of the horse. Accomplishments are measured in the many dozens of horses whose journeys led them to help and growth through Jean’s program.
Lisa Hellmer Lisa Hellmer is a USDF bronze and silver medalist on her Oldenburg, Aniko (“Sneaks”), currently competing at Intermediate I. She graduated summa cum laude from Johnson & Wales University with a degree in equine business management and riding. She is now a USEF Silver Para Dressage Coach and recently formed LCH Equestrian in Ocala, FL.
Molly Sorge Molly Sorge started working for The Chronicle of the Horse in 1998 as a staff writer and advanced to Senior Editor and Website Content Editor over her more than 20 years there. She’s covered Olympic Games, World Equestrian Games, FEI World Cup Finals, and most major events and venues in the U.S. In 2018, she became Jump Media’s new Managing Editor, overseeing client editorial and social media content.
NELSON PESSOA Nelson Pessoa is the biggest name in Brazilian equestrianism. His many major achievements include the tetra Brazilian championship, two World Cup silver medals (1984 and 1991), individual silver and team gold medals at the Winnipeg Pan American Games, and over 150 GPs in Europe and hundreds of competitions around the world.
Olivia Lagoy-Weltz Olivia Lagoy-Weltz is a USDF bronze, silver, and gold medalist. Her earlier experience includes working for and riding at several top barns in Holland and Germany. Olivia is currently competing her own Rassing’s Lonoir (“Lono”) on the CDI circuit in Wellington, Florida and throughout Europe. Most recently, USEF selected Olivia as Team USA’s traveling alternate for the World Equestrian Games, Tryon 2018.
dear reader, Welcome to EQ AM’s second issue! It’s jam-packed with new and interesting content—all from the USA. Even our Irish artist meets my discerning “Made in America” standards because he’s now creating amazing pieces out of his new studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You may start to see his giant metal works popping up near you; they are very hard to miss. In this issue, you’ll meet our front and back cover model
this with medication and lead a mostly normal, horse-loving life.
“Haute Couture,” owned and photographed by Charles
This December–February, however, I experienced a dangerous
Ancona, and Olivia Lagoy-Weltz will walk you through
degree of depression that made it impossible for me to do pretty
choreographing a Grand Prix Freestyle; spoiler alert: it’s no
much anything—something even hippotherapy couldn’t cure.
quick feat. After Olivia talks competing at the highest levels,
Working with my medical team (yes, I have one thanks to the
our new contributor, Jean French, will bring you down from the
Army), we were able to sort me out and get me back on my
clouds as she introduces you to a horse named “Cruisetown”
feet—hence this awesome Spring Issue you are about to read.
whom—at age-12—she’s rebuilding from scratch using natural
I tell you this not to share a sob story, but because mental
horsemanship and a program she calls The Natural Connection.
health is becoming a more and more public discussion in the
Then, in the main feature of this issue, McLain Ward
equine community, and I want to support that effort any
and Adrienne Sternlicht tell us what they thought about the
way that I can. For me, that means “showing” myself to you
courses at the World Equestrian Games (WEG, Tryon 2018). On
and following up with in-depth content on “equestrians and
the other side of the fence, top show jumping course designer,
mental health” in EQ AM’s next issue.
Alan Wade, will walk you through his process for developing and executing the WEG, Tryon 2018 tracks.!
For all of you welcoming EQ AM into your lives, I thank you and wish you a great read.
Another new feature I hope you’ll enjoy comes from EQ AM’s new partnership with Vermont’s own Trafalgar Square Books: we’re teaming up to bring you sizeable extracts from
Carina Roselli - Editor
newly released books. This issue features an incredible cut from
P.S. I want your feedback! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Equine Lameness for the Layman,” by Dr. Bob Grisel. Bob’s
or DM me on social media @eqammag.
truly innovative book uses QR codes that send you to video tutorials that help you better evaluate your horse’s condition. Finally, you’ll learn that Lugano Diamonds is a lot more than “just” glitz and glamour; they are a philanthropic powerhouse dedicated to giving so much to so many organizations and communities, including ours. Read more about the good they do for us and others in this issue’s Our World. On an entirely personal note, you may have noticed I didn’t publish January’s planned Winter Issue. If you didn’t, that’s ok; I’m still going to share this because it’s important. I suffer from anxiety and depression secondary to fibromyalgia (which is secondary to an injury I earned in Iraq). Normally, I can control
Carina at National Sporting Museum & Library, Middleburg, Virginia
8 | EQ AM MAGAZINE
Photo by Doug Finstad
APRIL 17 – 21 (WCHR) MAY 22 – 26
www.jump-NEE.com | info@jump-NEE.com |
MAY 15 – 19
MAY 29 – JUNE 2
The finest equestrian goods, curated for you by the Editor.
24K Gold Stirrups The E’Lan 24k Gold Stirrups are luxuriously crafted and engineered for performance. These stirrups incorporate all of the “regular” E’Lan qualities like ergonomically designed and patent-pending traction pin system, but the solid 6061 Aircraft Aluminum construction in this pair is 24K gold-plated…That being the case, these stirrups are clearly the pinnacle irons for the most elite competitor. Perfect for the show ring, these stirrups will get you noticed! The luxurious gold plating is handpolished to a mirror finish and electronically clear-coated for a lasting finish. The patent pending traction pins are machined from solid brass
Lugano Farrier Nails Lugano’s unique collection of equus-inspired jewelry is a combination of elegant diamonds mixed with variations
for a beautiful addition to the flawless design. All American Equus products are 100% precision made in the USA. Made to order; please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. Call (480) 813-1833 or visit www. americanequus.com, $595.00.
of gold that speak to the essence of horsemanship. Their goal is to blend equine icons into wearable works of art in a way that you won’t see anywhere else. These farrier nail pendants certainly tick all of those boxes. Lugano Diamonds’ Black Gold Pavé Horse Nail is a gorgeous conversation-starting pendant. The 18k black gold farrier nail suspends from an intricate 18k white gold
Life Between the Ears Wine Tumbler
chain. It’s embellished with an internally flawless one-
This tumbler is the perfect solution
carat princess cut diamond and more than 3.5 carats of
for your trailer, tailgate, tack box, barn,
princess cut and round brilliant collection VS diamonds.
and home. Use it sitting at the edge
Lugano Diamonds’ Gold Pendant stuns with rose and
of the arena watching your friends trot round and round while
round brilliant collection VS diamonds set in 18k yellow
you sip wine and swipe through @lifebetweentheears on social
gold while its Black Pendant is set beautifully on an 18k
media. This tumbler is unbreakable (safety first!) and will keep
black gold chain and boasts rose and round brilliant
your prosecco cold for up to 24 hours or your cocoa hot for up
collection VS diamonds.
to 6 hours. It’s a 12 ounce, double-walled, 18/8 stainless steel
You can view Lugano’s equestrian-inspired collection in
thermal tumbler with copper vacuum insulation, clear push on
brick and mortar salons and pop-up salons at your favorite
lid, and a powder coated finish. Translation: it’s a well-made,
horse shows. For more on these and other stunning works
fancy, insulated tumbler that actually works! Find it at Life
of art, visit www.luganodiamonds.com, $32,000 /
Between the Ears’ online shop at www.lifebetweentheears.
$5,500 / $5,500 respectively.
10 | EQ AM MAGAZINE
AtelierCG™ Tobiano Signature Set
out of stainless steel in moder n designs. Available
in gold/silver, black/silver, and black/gold tones and
This “giddythefup” fleece lined, relaxed, long sleeve,
detailed with the engraving “don’t let them tame
scoop neck sweatshirt is casual luxury at its best! It’s incredibly
you” on the flat of the bracelet and the inside of
comfortable and does well to express your mood. It will become
the ring. These two pieces of jewelry will quickly
a go-to favorite at the barn or after a tough competition when
become your favorites when you put them on
all you want is to be swaddled in softness and sass. And, you
and feel the strength of the metal, glamor of the
can always pair it with skinny jeans and boots for the perfect
details, and the wildness of a wild horse. Find this
chic, casual, eqgirl look—with plenty of attitude. This made-in-
set and much more at the AtelierCG™ online shop
Los Angeles shirt was inspired by all eqgirls and pokes fun at the
https://ateliercg.com where everything they sell is
sometimes too conservative way we view our sport. It reminds us
handcrafted in the USA with highest quality skills
that all eqgirls deserve a little giddy up in their lives; so giddythefup!
using the finest materials, $198.
Find this and matching giddythefup sweatpants at LA Saddlery,
These unisex horse shoe-style pieces are crafted
www.lasaddlery.com, sweatshirt $88 and sweatpants $85.
Gold Horses Bridle Rack EQUINE by Lauren Radvansky evolved from a large childhood collection of Breyer model horses. This handmade golden horses bridle rack is whimsical and classic, crafted out of three repurposed Breyer horses and reclaimed wood from Eastern Pennsylvania farms. The unique design allows a horse to hold your most favorite things and is ready to mount with two keyhole hangers attached. This is a one-of-a-kind piece and each is made on request. Designer Lauren Radvansky can also create a custom design for you using your choice of Breyer horses, color, and types of wood. Approximate dimensions, depth, and height vary by piece, but generally measure 23” L x 8” D x 9” H. EQUINE by Lauren also creates handmade bookends and other household goods that capture the nostalgia of hours of play with model horses. Her work is handcrafted in the USA and available on Etsy at www.etsy.com/shop/ EQUINEbyLauren, with pieces starting at $55 (piece shown $198).
Eq Am Magazine | 11
Spur style From Across the Pond: Amazona Sueca . Engraved Spur Protectors
Well these obviously aren’t spurs and no they’re
Stars and Stripes Spurs
not made in America, but I couldn’t ignore these
There was no way I could ignore these patriotic beauties by Holly Spagnola Designs. They are your normal stainless steel Prince of Wales spurs, but adorned with sterling silver cording and a goldfilled star with red precious stone in the center. Holly makes several beautifully dressed-up spurs and other “EQccessories” like stirrup irons (also amazing), belt buckles, and other precious metal and gemstone jewelry—all with an equestrian theme. Holly creates bespoke pieces for clients and she’s developed collections of her most popular items, but since everything is hand formed and engraved by Holly herself, even her collections are one-of-a-kind. Check out her other pieces of wearable art at https:// hollyspagnoladesigns.com/.
gorgeous, personalized, Swedish-made protectors that can transform any set of spurs! The website literally says, “Pimp and protect your boots,” which is exactly what these spur protectors do. Made out of calfskin leather in various colors and textures, these engraved spur protectors are eye-catching, sophisticated, and simply awesome. Amazona Sueca specializes in high quality, handmade leather goods: everything from riding boots to short boots, sporty sneakers, and a variety of accessories. Plus, their leather comes from free-range animals and they handpick their manufacturers who are primarily smaller Portuguese family businesses with good working conditions, environmental awareness, and great passion for what they do. This company is worthy of an “Across the Pond” shout out; just be ready to convert Kronas to
Browbands with Bling Hand-Wrapped Lamp Spurs Browbands with Bling really knows how to bring the opulent bling! These exquisite spurs are carefully handcrafted in the USA using high quality materials and Swarovski crystals. Each set of spurs can be custom made with your choice of stones, colors, and beading. These Lamp Spurs are already available in large round or small square spurs and are double strung and triple wrapped with fine, but extremely strong wire that you can’t see when worn. This is another set you’ll never want to take off; so maybe one set for the barn and another for the ring? Get yours at http://shop.browbandswithbling.com.
| EQUESTRE AMERICAS MAGAZINE
24K Gold Spurs
Roller Ball Spur
American Equus now offers limited edition
small, American company that produces
KJ Equestrian Creations is a sassy,
24K Gold Quik-X Spurs as part of their
Unicorn Hardware spurs and sells many
Interchangeable Spurs Collection. Talk about
other equestrian things. They were the
a showstopper! With unparalleled luxury and
first designers in the US to develop and
craftsmanship, Quik-X Spurs are CNC milled
market this “unicorn” coloring, which they
from solid 6061 Billet Aluminum, hand-
create by scorching Titanium—rest assured
polished to a mirror-like shine, show chrome
the coloring won’t chip off! Also, by
finished, and then plated with 24-carat gold.
that method, no two sets will have the
Just like the original design with patent-
same coloring, so each pair of Unicorn
pending interchangeable shanks, these
spurs allow for a quick and easy change
when riding a variety of horses with
c r e a t i o n s . m y s h o p i f y.
a variety of sensitivities. And just
like everything else American Equus makes, these spurs are American made!
hardware/products/roller-ballspur. (Note: some explicit language)
If I owned a pair of these, I can’t decide if I’d covet them for shows or wear them every day of the week! Maybe I need two pairs? https://americanequus.com/product/24karat-gold-spurs/.
TOP PICK! Holly Spagnola Designs Sugar Skull Spurs are simply AMAZING. They are your normal stainless steel Prince of Wales spurs, but adorned with handcrafted, sterling silver, folk art sugar skulls. Sterling silver filigree designs, stars, and floral beading make up the rest of these incredible spurs. PS: those skulls have gemstones for eyes! Get your pair of these bold and beautiful spurs at https://hollyspagnoladesigns.com/.
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Andy Scott with Baron, one of the model horses for the Kelpies (photo credit Martin Shields)
14 | EQ AM MAGAZINE
ART LARGER THAN LIFE Editor’s Note: Andy Scott is an interesting, but extraordinary choice of artist for EQ AM. As a publication, we focus on horse culture in America and Andy Scott is a Scottish sculptor. At first blush, featuring him and his equine art may seem “off brand,” but it’s not. After many years sculpting abroad in Europe and Australia, Andy has moved to America and set up a studio in northern Philadelphia.
He and his wife have landed here, literally on
when they saw my horse… That sculpture really
our shores, and Andy has brought his raw talent
raised the public’s awareness of my sculptural
and love of horses with him. I am certain we will
abilities and gradually a steady stream of
see more and more of his sculptures scattered
commissions began to flow into the studio.
throughout the U.S., so as he settles into his
A couple of years after “The Heavy Horse” I
north Philly studio, I can’t think of a better way
was offered the opportunity to exhibit in Australia,
to welcome him to our American horse culture
so I made another large-scale Clydesdale. That
than to introduce you to his amazing work.
sculpture sold, and then another equine request came along, and another, and before I knew
In his own words…
it I was developing a reputation for my horse
I was born and bred in the city of Glasgow
in central Scotland, went to school there,
I have to confess I didn’t grow up around
and graduated from the renowned Glasgow
horses, and I guess I kind of “fell into” my love
School of Art in 1987. I had little interest in the
for them as a subject matter in my art. While
Scottish gallery circuit, and instead established
by no means the only subject I tackle (an 18ft
tall grizzly bear currently dominates the studio)
metalworker. In the midst of learning how to
they have become a mainstay and probably the
work with other professionals, run a business,
subject I most love tackling. If I go for longer
and how to manage projects, I won an increasing
than a couple of months without one under way
number of artistic projects. In 1997 I landed the
in the studio, I begin to miss their presence. It’s a
commission to build “The Heavy Horse” and
strange thing to describe.
that was a game-changer.
I established a studio in Australia and
It is a prominent landmark and just about
eventually went on to create 15 sculptures there
everyone in my old home city of Glasgow knows
across several states while I was still running
it, standing as it does beside the main highway
my Scottish studio. Eventually I decided not to
into the city. If only I had a penny for every time
pursue the Australian adventure at that time,
someone told me they knew they were home
and consolidated the Scottish side of things.
UNITED BY THE PASSION FOR HORSES | 15
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“Equus Clutha” Photo credit Andy Scott
This sculpture was bought by a local government regeneration agency in the town of Greenock in Scotland. They wanted a landmark artwork for a new streetscape in the former docks area of the town to celebrate the role horses played in the docks and shipyards of that formerly industrial part of Scotland. “Equus” is of course Latin for horse, but “Clutha” is actually Gaelic for “The Clyde,” the river beside which the horse stands. Local folks have taken to calling the sculpture “Ginger” in honor of a much-loved local horse who lost his life in an accident in one of the docks back in the 1930s. It’s particularly nice when local people adopt a sculpture this way.
In due course, after many exciting career twists and turns
brings a rational architect’s eye to project development and
based in Scotland (the life of a professional sculptor is never
presentations, and away from the studio we share the same
straightforward), my wife Hanneke and I decided it was time
interests in architecture and the built environment.
to broaden our horizons and we set up our current studio in the city of Philadelphia.
wonder why I do it. There are certainly easier ways to make
We’d visited the USA a number of times and exhibited
sculpture. It is hard work. Unforgiving. Steel doesn’t lend itself
in New York, Chicago, and Indiana. It gave us a sense that
to shaping the way clay does, and it certainly puts up a fight
there may be an audience and a market for our studio output,
as I try to form the nostrils of a Clydesdale or the fetlocks of a
but the sheer scale of the country dictated that we should
Cob. It offers all sorts of physical challenges, not only to me in
establish a physical presence here. We’ve been lucky to meet
the working, but to the structure of the sculpture.
some great artistic colleagues and set up a fully equipped 6,000 sq ft studio in north Philly.
I make most of the sculptures from steel. I sometimes
Most folks don’t think about it often, but a horse is a very heavy mass of beast to be balanced on such small and fragile
I should explain that Hanneke and I work as a team.
structures of bone and muscle. Replicating this in steel can
Hanneke is a qualified architect, and she manages the
create all sorts of challenges when one takes wind-loading
business side of the practice, overseeing the accountancy
and installations into consideration.
and the project management issues. This allows me free rein
I use a distinctive style of steelwork, wherein I assemble
to concentrate on the actual design and sculpting. She also
the sculptures from myriad sections of steel plates, carefully
“Arabesque” Photo credit Paul Ewart
The Horse Fair by Rosa Bonheur I made Arabesque at my old studio in Currumbin, Queensland, Australia for the annual Swell sculpture exhibition which takes place on the beach there. While I was working on another sculpture, a huge storm caused terrible coastal erosion. I was struck by the metaphor of “white horses” as the large breakers were crashing ashore. I wanted to make an equine piece which wasn’t a heavy breed, and opted for one of the most refined, an Arabian. I’m pleased to say Arabesque was subsequently purchased by Gold Coast City Council and is still a presence beside Highway 1 at the Broadbeach area of the city. I am sure my original meaning behind the sculpture has been lost over the years, but nevertheless it is still a much-loved local landmark for residents and the city’s many tourist visitors.
composed and aligned to create the form of the horse. It
I don’t use any computer modelling programs or scanning
could be described as a three-dimensional steel mosaic almost
processes. I draw them by hand and I make them by hand.
painterly approach. This welded steel technique allows a
“Real” art. Inevitably the larger projects and the workload
dynamic flow of light, both natural and man-made through
dictates that I hire assistants in the studio and I am lucky to
and around the sculptures. Careful positioning of the steel
say I have a great group of colleagues always willing and
accentuates muscles and gives the sense of the flow and
able to work with me at the Philly studio. I should also say of
movement, or a hint of emotion. I usually work at least one
course that the larger projects, such as The Kelpies, require
and a third life scale or larger, as the steel does not suit small
contemporary technologies as well as artistic vision and
scale working. The completed sculptures are then galvanized
we embrace those techniques and methods when they’re
and sometimes powder coated to protect them against the
required. But in the main, I am what these days you might call
elements. My daily studio life is one of trucks, cranes, sparks,
“old school”—I actually sculpt.
and flames, and a trusty old 60 ton ironworker guillotine.
Every day brings new challenges and it’s been an interesting
For the smaller maquettes and studies, I model in clay
and very demanding process establishing the studio in the US.
and have them cast in bronze. I also enjoy that process. It
It was a wake-up call going from being very well known in my
forces me to concentrate on tiny detailing and is sometimes a
old home country, making the biggest sculptures in the land, to
welcome respite from the physical hard work of the large-scale
being a “new boy” here where nobody knows a thing about me.
sculptures. They started as a necessary part of making larger
But I needed it, change is good. Complacency can creep into any
works, but the small-scale studies have taken a life of their
creative practice in a small locality, so Hanneke and I have really
own and we’re pleased with how well they’ve sold.
dived right into the deep end of this vast and diverse country.
UNITED BY THE PASSION FOR HORSES |
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Photo credit Tracey Fullerton
Photo credit Tracey Fullerton
18 | EQ AM MAGAZINE
Photo credit Graham Wylie
The Kelpies: This major project is
almost impossible to sum up in a short paragraph or two. This pair of colossal
engineers, fabricators, lighting designers, electricians, project managers, etc. They’ve
horse heads consumed over eight years
have brought me considerable acclaim,
of my life in their creation, and was
including four honorary doctorates. They
an extremely demanding and difficult
were the subject of a BBC documentary,
project. In short, they are a pair of heavy
horse heads, standing 100 feet high and
and HM Queen Elizabeth on separate
weighing 300 tons each.
occasions, and have become a well-
They stand beside the Forth & Clyde
established part of the cultural landscape
Canal in Falkirk, central Scotland and have
of Scotland. They also created a huge
become hugely popular local and national
transformation in Falkirk, placing the
landmarks. They were a huge team effort
town on the map and bringing millions
and involved a cast of hundreds in their
of visitors to the previously overlooked
town. Captions by Andy Scott.
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Photo credits Andy Scott
You ask what I hope to evoke in the viewers of my sculptures. This is to some degree the same for all of my works: a feeling of pride of place, of ownership of the public sculptures, a relationship to them in some way. The subtleties of that lie with the individual viewer of course… they say beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. I hope my equine works evoke an appreciation of artistic skill and dexterity, of the sheer hard work that goes into their creation. I hope the viewer senses my reverence for the horse as a subject in art and, especially with private commissions, the celebration of the very personal bond that can exist between human and horse. I hope the viewer pauses a moment to consider the allegorical meanings that may lie behind the sculptures: Why that breed of horse? Why in that pose? Why in that material? But, I am also delighted if a passing motorist with too many things on his mind simply thinks “Hey, nice horse!”
20 | EQ AM MAGAZINE
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“Monarch” Photo credit Andy Scott
Monarch was a private commission some years ago. He called me at my studio as he was driving past my “Kelpies” sculptures, and asked if I could build him a Clydesdale. I wish all commissions were so straight forward. His property in Lanarkshire, central Scotland is the area where Clydesdales were originally bred, so there is a lovely historical link with the landscape around Monarch. The sculpture stands proudly on the crest of a hill on his property, and as one drives towards his residence you see the horse in perfect profile against the skyline.
“Zephyr” Photo credit Andy Scott I made this sculpture speculatively for an exhibition in Soho, New York. It subsequently went on display in the lobby of a skyscraper in downtown Philadelphia. It was a simple attempt to make an eye-catching equine piece for
steel technique at a much smaller scale than I usually work. It caught the attention of previous Californian clients who had commissioned a human figure sculpture a few years ago. They are building a property in Montana and thought it would be the perfect addition to that residence in the wilds.
Andy Scott with Baron, one of the model horses for the Kelpies.
COLOR MARVEL LOVE STORY What makes a horse beautiful? Aren’t they all beautiful? Even a dull-coated, underweight, roughed-up rescue is a beautiful horse. We all believe that or we wouldn’t be reading (or writing) this editorial. But, what made you choose your horse if you have one, or what horse do you daydream about if you don’t? What does that horse look like? I ask because it’s human nature to be attracted to certain traits in all things, from horses to puppies to people. We humans might even go so far as to call that attraction “love at first sight.”
22 | EQ AM MAGAZINE
e d i t or i a l
In our community, this might translate to
make sense.” To the average person, one
when you glimpse a horse for the first time
might say this whole thing didn’t make any
and just know—instantly—that’s your horse.
sense at all, but the color and markings
Has that ever happened to you? For the sake
Charles saw on Couture were, to him, high
of illustration, six years ago, it happened to
fashion on a horse. The New York designer
Charles Ancona, master tailor of show coats,
of the Garment District saw a horse who was
when he very literally caught a glimpse of a
dressed to kill.
2-year-old colt trotting across a video frame.
W ithout even seeing the horse in person, he
little-known American breed: the Georgian
instantly knew this colt was his horse, and
Grande, developed in Ohio (not Georgia)
that horse graces both our covers and these
by George Wagner, Jr. in the 1970s. The
next few pages. Meet “Haute Couture.”
Georgian Grande is a crossbreeding of the
American Saddlebred horse with a Friesian,
horseman six years ago. He also wasn’t a
intending to build a Saddlebred-type horse
with the stocky and stoic qualities of heavier
show coats back then; he actually borrowed
money to buy this horse he’d never met. It
Wagner believed this heavier Saddlebred
was very literally “love at first sight.” He
was common long ago, idolizing Robert E.
bought “Couture” (that’s his barn name;
Lee’s horse Traveller. Today, the Georgian
nothing fancy) and decided to figure out the
Grande has its own International Georgian
rest as he went along.
Grande Breed Registry and is an accepted
So I asked Charles, “What was it about
member of the US Dressage Federation
this horse that made you spring into action?”
He told me, “When things make sense, they
Horse Council. W ith his refined but sturdy
e d i t or i a l
confirmation and his black and white splashes of
HP in the arena, but he’s impeccably ground trained
paint—especially beautiful through his mane and
through Charles’s use of natural horsemanship.
tail—Couture hits every mark of his desired breed characteristics.
So what’s a man to do with his horse of atypical breed, with flashy features and a level head? Well, for
Back to Charles and his capacity for impulse
one thing, he stands as a handsome exemplar of a
buying; he’s absolutely in love with this horse. He
rare American Made breed. For another, he’s the ideal
says, “If I could build a horse from scratch, Couture
muse for any fashion label. So that’s kind of the
would be it.” Now, Couture is 8-yrs-old and no Adiah
plan: Couture is a super model.
24 | EQ AM MAGAZINE
d re s s a ge By. Olivia Lagoy-Weltz
Making a Grand Prix Freestyle For many spectators, freestyles are the highlight of international dressage competition and the aspect of our sport that is most easily appreciated by a broader audience. . A well done freestyle draws in the audience, creates
choreograph your own freestyle and edit your own music,
emotion, and is incredibly fun to watch (and hopefully fun
most top riders have student, competition, and travel
to ride). A perfect example of this kind of freestyle would
schedules that put a heavy demand on their time and make
be Debbie McDonalds “Respect” freestyle from the 2005
it far more practical to bring a freestyle designer onto your
World Cup in Las Vegas. The freestyle was comprised of
team. Besides, it is wise to have a professional designer’s
classic Motown pieces and finished with Debbie piaffing
experience and knowledge on your side (although, I am
and passaging down the final centerline to Aretha Franklin’s
sure there are outlying, amazingly talented riders who are
“Respect.” It brought down the house and put Debbie and
able to do all of this, but I don’t know them personally and
Brentina squarely in the hearts of the audience that day and
I am for sure not one of them!). These freestyle creating
for years to come. Generating this kind of special freestyle
professionals have a strong background in music of some
takes a lot of time and effort, and a little bit of luck, in
kind, either as a composer, editor, or musician, and several
finding that perfect music to showcase your horse.
also have a background working with other Olympic sports
What is the process for putting together an award
such as ice skating or gymnastics.
winning international freestyle? Step 2: Get to Work on the Choreography. Step 1: Hire a Professional.
This is the part I (and many riders) find the most tedious,
A freestyle at any level takes time and creativity to put
but it is also really important. During the choreography-
together, but when you reach the International Grand
building phase, there are a lot of elements to juggle and
Prix level the demands and expectations become much
you often spend many hours trying new patterns, videoing,
higher and much more complicated. While it is possible to
watching, trying something else, and videoing, watching,
tweaking, and doing it again.
difficulty points and having an overall pleasing flow. When
Some freestyle professionals can choreograph (or help
you do something hard, the goal is to make it look easy. If
you choreograph) your freestyle, and others prefer that you
you jam-pack your freestyle with difficulty at the expense
choreograph the freestyle with your trainer. Either way, at
of the quality of execution, than you won’t score well. On
the International level, most riders are very involved with
some horses this process can go very quickly and on others
the creation of their choreography. As riders, we are the
it seems to take forever. Having said all that, when we as
ones that know what movements our horses perform best
riders finish this phase, we often feel very relieved!
and what kind of setup we would like to demonstrate each of our movements.
Step 3: Music... Sweet Music.
In order to be internationally competitive you are going
Once you have gone through the process of
to need a very high degree of difficulty. Last year, the FEI
choreographing the freestyle, you make a final video and
introduced the Freestyle Floor Plan Creator. This computer
send it to your freestyle professional. It is not necessary
program is designed to help establish more objective
to pick music before you choreograph your freestyle, but
standards for the degree of difficulty score for both riders
generally your professional is starting to work on this during
and judges. I have actually found this program very fun to
the choreographing process. At this level, the choreography
work with because you can input the choreography and the
is not necessarily designed to interpret the music. If you
program generates a test sheet for your specific freestyle,
have picked your music first, than interpretation can begin
and calculates a degree of difficulty. Still, you must execute
during the choreography phase. More often, the music is
the difficulty with proficiency in order to receive credit.
actually selected to match the horse and edited to match
But, achieving maximum difficulty is not the only
the choreography in a manner that looks like the music
criterion. Sometimes less is more, particularly if you have a
had been interpreted. This is the main reason that you have
big, or green Grand Prix horse who needs a simpler pattern
a musical professional on your team: to reverse-engineer
to help build confidence, or simply to highlight the quality
the music to match the already established choreography.
of the horse’s movements. You always have to balance the
Ideally, the overall flow of the presentation will look like the
difficulty of your freestyle with how well your horse can
music came first, even if it didn’t.
execute the movements. If your horse can score an 8 or
So how do you pick music? What do you look for?
9 on changes on a straight line, but struggles when you
You start with trying to find your general theme or mood
put them on a bending or circle line, resulting in a score
of music. Do you want to go dramatic, fun, light, jazzy,
drop to a 6.5 or lower. The bonus points you could earn
classical, rock and roll, Motown, or musicals? Sometimes
for the circle line aren’t enough to warrant the risk, and the
the rider or the professional will already have an idea of the
discomfort felt by your horse might distract or detract from
direction they want to go for a particular horse, and that’s
your overall flow.
always helpful in narrowing the scope of music down.
The goal of good choreography is to showcase what
Often musical designers will work with music from
you and your horse are good at while minimizing or
movie soundtracks because there is generally a range of
downplaying any weaker areas—all while maximizing
music to work with and a common theme that ties them
d re s s a ge
all together. While it is possible to make it work, picking
look earthbound while picking music with an emphasis on
random pieces of music with nothing in common can be a
the upbeat can lighten that same horse. There’s so much
very difficult way to go about this and can make for a very
to choose from and yet all music affects horses differently
choppy freestyle if not done well. If you do choose random
so finding the perfect mix can take some time. This is
pieces, this music has to enhance your horse so well that
again where your professional comes in. They normally go
each piece in itself makes the horse look so good that it
through and find several options that they think will work
draws the audience and judges in so far that they don’t
for your horse and let you pick from there.
notice the variety of music as much as the horse’s ability to move within them.
Other considerations… Most freestyle music is purely instrumental and ranges from movies to Broadway to
Picking music that is recognizable to the audience tends
orchestrated versions of rock bands such as the Beatles.
to make your freestyle more memorable and can go a long
Debbie’s “Respect” was the first prominent international
way to getting the crowd drawn in and “with you” for the
freestyle to incorporate lyrics—an inclusion that had
dance. But, not every horse can handle the kind of freestyle
previously been taboo! Lyrics are more acceptable now,
that gets the crowd involved and different horses respond
but riders are advised to use them sparingly. Karaoke music
differently to different music. There’s also the rider’s taste
has gained some traction in freestyles, but using it is tricky
in music to consider because these highly technical, artfully
because the melody is missing. While hearing only the beat
choreographed freestyles are not one and done; chances
and background instrumentation can be impressive at first,
are you are going to be listening to that freestyle for years—
it can tend to sound repetitive very quickly. Without the
so you’d like to love it.
melody, there is also a risk of missing the dynamics in the
The other element that is very important—if not the most
music that are necessary for interpretation. In order for this
important—when picking music is that the music must match
kind of music to work, the melody line may need to be
the tempo of your horse in all gaits and movements of your
written back in.
choreography. Starting with a piece of music that is close to naturally correct makes this part of the process easier because you are working with your horse and not against them.
Step 4a: Editing Existing Music. Now that you have your music picked out, it’s time
Hours of viewing videos of your horse moving to
for your freestyle professional to bring everything together
different types of music helps to see what enhances their
with their editing skills. There are different levels of editing and
movement. If you have a quick horse, picking quick and
composing that must happen in order to bring your freestyle into
busy music can make them look rushed or frantic, even if the
one cohesive piece. They range from splicing/editing/blending,
music is to tempo. If you have a very rhythmic horse, picking
all the way to full composition recorded in a professional studio,
music with a strong beat can highlight their regularity, but
or any combination of all these techniques.
if their tempo isn’t steady, a strong beat will point that out.
It is by no means necessary to have something fully
Similarly, music with a downbeat can make a heavy horse
custom written and recorded in order to have an award
28 | EQ AM MAGAZINE
winning freestyle. Think about Laura Graves and her powerful freestyle based on the music from Rudy. Laura’s freestyle was custom selected and edited for Verdades (“Diddy”), but not custom written and has scored beautifully over the years. Kasey Perry Glass’s freestyle with Goerklintgaards Dublet, based on the music from Lord of the Rings, is also an example of good editing and layering that wasn’t composed from scratch. Step 4b: Composing a Whole New Jam. Some examples of a fully customized and orchestrated freestyles would be Debbie McDonald’s “Respect” freestyle for Brentina, Adrianne Lyle’s “Play that Funky Music” freestyle she used for Wizard, and Steffen Peters rap freestyle “Ice Ice Baby” he had composed for Legolas. Like Debbie, Adrienne, and Steffen, international riders are increasingly using music specifically composed to match their choreography much the same way a soundtrack is composed to match a movie. The biggest advantage to this method is flexibility. There is no need to be concerned with various selections that may not blend together, or with a song available in lyric version only, or with choppy editing while expressing the various movements. The final composition is seamless, orchestrated the same, has the option of including lyrics or not, and follows the movements as they change. So if composing and recording gives you such great ability to customize your freestyle, why doesn’t everyone do that? Many of the top riders do, but this also comes at a price. For a fully composed and orchestrated freestyle, you are probably looking at a starting price of around $25,000 to $30,000 and that can push upwards to six figures depending on the choreographer you’re working with and who you’re hiring to perform the music. For freestyles such as Laura’s or Kasey’s that are edited from existing music, the starting price is closer to $5,000 or $6,000. Step 5: The Final Phase Now that your music is edited and fully put together, you send a copy of your original (silent) video to your professional so they can overlay the music onto it, that way you can watch it a few times to get a feel for what it should look and sound like. Then get the music file or CD and start practicing. But at this point, everything should be more or less right on, with the exception of a few timing changes. If you need to make changes, you must make the final adjustments with your choreographer and then have a final version sent to you. Done, right? Well, not quite.
Photo courtesy of Olivia Lagoy-Weltz.
The author on her Grand Prix mount Rassing’s Lonoir (“Lono”).
Step 6: The Final, Final Phase
of small tweaks, slight changes, and sometimes
Horses go differently at shows then they do at
even partial revamps. Again, this is why having an
home. Until you start showing with the freestyle,
excellent professional choreographer to work with
you really won’t know exactly how it will ride. Many
is important, because they will continue to work
times there are more small adjustments to make
with you through all the evolutions of the freestyle.
after the first few goes. Once you smooth out those
Developing a top international Grand Prix
edges, I suppose you could call it “done,” but every
Freestyle is an involved process. It can be lots of
show is different, every ride is a little different, and
fun, but it can be very tedious as well. Having said
every day can be a bit different.
that, nothing beats the thrill of pulling off a brilliant
Freestyles are often evolving things. Horses
ride under the lights to amazing music. Dressage
change and mature. You may love a move in
is a very controlled sport where the personality of
practice and then discover that, under the lights
the horse and rider are carefully managed, and as
at night, it doesn’t ride as well. The choreography
a spectator you are given a withering look if you
can evolve over time, particularly if you designed
so much as sneeze in the stands. Freestyles are our
the freestyle for a young grand prix horse. A horse’s
sport’s chance to draw people in, have some fun,
tempos can change as they learn to cover more
and become more relatable to just about anyone
ground or become more collected. Chances are
walking by. Horses dancing to music are a spectacle
you may go through a round or two (or three…)
everyone can appreciate!
F O U N D A T I O N
Where They Go Next is Up to Us Horses thrill us as athletes, but they also inspire us as teachers, grace our lives as loyal companions, and perform miracles for people with special needs. Most horses will have multiple homes during their lifetimes, but thousands of horses suffer from abuse, neglect and being shipped off to slaughter each year.
Equine Ambassadors Our Equine Ambassadors are sport horses whose owners donate a portion of their winnings in equestrian sport competitions to put an end to the abuse by providing more opportunities for America’s at-risk and transitioning horses to thrive. There’s no greater gift you can give than to have your equine partner safeguard the future of America’s horses as an EQUUS Foundation Equine Ambassador. Learn More
Lafitte De Muze
The EQUUS Foundation is the only national animal welfare charity in the United States 100% dedicated to protecting America’s horses and strengthening the bond between horses and people.
EQUUS Foundation Equine Ambassador Owned by Cheryl Olsten &
Contact Us email@example.com | 203-259-1550
Ridden by Amanda Steege
Follow Us instagram.com/EQUUSFoundation facebook.com/EQUUSFoundation twitter.com/EQUUSFoundation
© Shawn McMillin
For the Love of Horses
n a t ur a l e q u i n e Photos: Lauren B. Murphy of Handcrafted In Virginia
Meet Jean French and “Cruisetown”
The Natural Connection, Inc. Jean French is the owner and creator of The Natural Connection Inc. (TNC), a program dedicated to working with and naturally healing horses in a completely holistic manner. She looks at every horse from the inside out in order to create a training program that best suits individual needs. She uses her natural connection to “read” a horse’s body language, assessing its emotional and physical needs with humans and horses and in all different environments. Now Jean’s sharing her own story of “restarting” her own adopted horse “Cruisetown” to illustrate TNC natural horsemanship methods from the beginning.
Jean started riding at age 4 at any stables her parents
Upon opening TNC, a roping horse named Barney came
could find while living overseas. Upon moving to the United
into Jean’s life and he changed everything. She originally
States, she rode as a hunter and as a teenager she switched
purchased him to be her team roping horse, but he had too
to western recreational trail riding at the Marriott Ranch.
many health issues. After dealing with fellow equestrians,
After 11 years at Marriott, in her mid-20s, she moved her
farriers, and veterinarians who all answered the same
horse and became a competitive team roper on the Virginia
questions with totally different information, Jean decided to
Cowboy Association Circuit. Roping took a strain on both
just figure it out herself! She learned to trim her own horses’
Jean and her horse, so she left the roping world to teach. In
hooves, learned how to create individualized feed regimens,
2003, she formed TNC.
and created a variety of horse exercise programs for horses
It was at the Marriott Ranch as a teenager that Jean
with differing rehabilitative or maintenance needs. She
learned about rescuing and rehabilitating horses through
created a rehab program that started with three horses and
various training techniques—for better or for worse. She
grew now to 33.
spent hours with the herd of 55+ horses, learning about body language and how they communicated with each other. 32
Jean began teaching students about horsemanship, starting with groundwork and teaching them how to read
many layers to understand.” – Jean French
“Each horse is an onion that we must gently peel—there are
horses’ body language. As riders became more interested in
in the hands before they are rehomed. If the personality and
her program, they chose whether to pursue riding English
conformation is appropriate, some horses move into jumping
or Western because Jean could teach either one. But, the
training as well.
discipline was irrelevant; the goal was to create up-and-
Jean’s personal rehabilitation and training project is a
coming equestrians that had an awareness of their horse’s
12-year-old, 17.2hh, Irish Sport Horse named Cruisetown.
needs, their environment, and how everything can affect your
“Cruise” was originally from Upperville, VA where he was
time and interactions with a horse. Eventually, the program
competing in 1.15m jumpers. Cruise’s future was looking
became focused on teaching horse care and training, first-
promising until he started refusing jumps. Cruise underwent
time horse ownership skills, and the “language” of the
extensive health testing that was overall inconclusive. Absent
horse. Jean also believes continuing education is critical, so
any other ideas, Cruise went on turnout for a year and then
she arranged for her students to work with other clinicians
Jean adopted him in March 2018. She immediately started
in the horse world in both English and Western disciplines.
assessing who he is.
Jean and TNC shifted gears in 2017 by moving to its
“When I get a new horse, the first thing I do is create
current location in Linden, Virginia, the home of the Marriot
a ‘BASELINE’ of who they are. I need to know what certain
Ranch; Jean returned after 17 years away. TNC now focuses
traits, behaviors, and realities I can expect to see on a daily
on providing options for horses in need of retraining and
basis mentally, physically, and emotionally. Initially, I assess
sometimes rehoming. TNC also offers western trail riding
most of this through quiet observation.”
to the public, servicing Northern VA, Washington D.C., the
Jean’s goal is to restart Cruise as if he were an unbroke
greater metropolitan area, and neighboring states. The trail
colt. Join Jean on her journey with Cruise and watch how
rides are the primary income source to fund rehabilitating
fusing natural horsemanship with a methodical training
these horses. Some of the rehabilitated horses are mentally
program can create a new horse!
and physically fit to matriculate into the TNC program’s herd
Jean will take you through her process in her own words:
for training and trail rides. Others are rehomed according to
When I first met Cruise, his body language was that of a
their individual needs. Jean’s program and techniques have
horse who was “wary,” with an eye and an ear focused on
grown a reputation in the horse community as a place for
each side of his body, but watching him as he readily ate his
“unwanted” horses to get a last chance at life.
hay was a good sign because eating helps a more anxious
TNC always initially trains these new “applicants” under
western saddle, but if they are not a fit for the program,
I spent an hour trailer training him just to move him to his
Jean will transition them to English and start training for a
new home. In the end, he walked right in of his own accord,
new discipline. Horses training in English work on lower level
but he clearly was not a fan. Cruise’s lack of trust in tight
dressage and are taught to ride from the rider’s leg to contact
spaces tells me he has a lack of experience in small spaces
n a t ur a l e q u i n e
or he may even be a bit claustrophobic. I also had to teach
surroundings. It also told me that he was more prone to
him to accept his new rope halter and desensitize him to the
ulcers because he’s anxious, eating less, and pacing more.
stick and string as an extension of my arm—not something
So that means the food regimen—brand, type, nutrients,
supplements, and amount—that I design for him is very
I also had to teach Cruise some basic skills such as
important. It also told me that, as an anxious horse, he has
sending, backing up, walking forward off of light pressure,
a higher likelihood of becoming dehydrated, so I must make
and even to appreciate praise. From this, it became clear that
a point to show him where his water source is and not leave
I must continue trailer training him after we’ve established
him alone on his first day until I see him drink from it. He did
a good, respectful relationship on the ground and under-
eventually drink, just before sundown, so I was able to leave
saddle, and after he learns to RELAX. So, I had to take trailer
the barn feeling that he knew how to find his hay and water.
training off of my radar for now, but I’ll put it back on at
I also introduced him to his new feed.
some point—and that’s ok.
A note on nutrition: Every horse owner must decide what
So, “Who is Cruise?” This is where establishing a
type of hay and feed to give their horse. This can be confusing
“BASELINE” comes in. Watching him out in his new field, he
and difficult because there is not one correct option—there
paced the fence line and called out to other nearby horses.
are dozens—and you must choose what works best for your
He was eating, but he’d grab a bite of hay from his pile on
horse and their situation. In extreme rehabilitation cases,
the fly, continuing with his walking. All of these behaviors
it’s certainly a good idea to employ your veterinarian and/or
nutritionist in the decision-making.
“What does that tell me?”
To determine a BASELINE for Cruise’s nutrition, I assessed
First, it makes me hopeful that this is not the permanent
his body and saw a horse that was in good condition with a
BASELINE for his personality.
healthy coat, good weight, and excellent hooves. “What does
Upon arrival, his personality
that tell me?” Cruise most likely has a good immune system
was that of an anxious
and a normally functioning metabolic system; everything
horse that may or
was functioning well, as body condition and hoof quality
are strongly connected. We determined that Cruise didn’t
well in new
need any special diet or supplements to correct or balance the current state of his system. He just needed treatment for parasites and then I put him on a feed regimen that would help him build muscle and healthy fat as he slowly got back into work. Some nutritional suggestions: Since I work with CFC Farm and Home Center in Culpeper, Virginia (https://www. cfcfarmhome.com/) on the dietary needs of my ranch horses, it was only natural for me to look to them for help with Cruise. Tribute™ makes a fantastic feed called Essential K® GC Plus, which is a low NSC (non-structural carbohydrates; starch + sugar) ration balancer with glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane; organic sulfur) to support and maintain other body functions. This feed was perfect for Cruise because his diet consisted mostly of grass forage and orchard grass hay. Adding a “ration balancer” provided him the nutrients he needed without the bulk and weight-gaining properties that come in other feeds. This helped build his topline muscles without making him fat, while also providing the basic vitamins and minerals he needed, but didn’t get from forage alone. For the
n a t ur a l e q u i n e
knowing your horse’s BASELINE helps
you interpret and identify health
concerns quickly, which can save their life.” – Jean French
Photo credit Lauren B. Murphy of Handcrafted In Virginia
first week, I put him on a 1lb ration twice daily, with no added supplements, and plenty of turnout with hay. After just a few days on this regimen, Cruise’s BASELINE did in fact change: he became much more comfortable with his surroundings, he ate grass more and paced less, and he started to gain some weight.
Herd dynamics o Still shows herd-boundedness because, when pulled out of the pasture, he starts calling to his friends o
Paces the fence line when moved into a new field,
but stops after acclimating for a few days o
He’s made friends in his herd, enjoys the mares in
It is important to realize that a horse’s BASELINE will
particular, but is low man on the totem pole
likely change after acclimating to a new environment, and it
Physical attributes + Medical conditions
will certainly change over time as your horse’s training, age,
He’s a 3/4 on the weight scale; he has as a layer
health, and body condition change. Establishing a BASELINE
of muscle over the ribs, but ribsnoticeable when turning;
is a perennial task; you should regularly re-evaluate as time
no good musculature or topline visible; accepts Essential K®
goes on, always comparing it to your initial BASELINE to
well, eats 2 lbs. 2 x a day, watered down.
recognize positive or negative trends. If you arrive at the barn and observe something out of the ordinary BASELINE behavior for your horse, you’ll know that you may be seeing a sick or injured horse. With some
Has a bit of a “hay belly” which indicates he
probably needs de-worming; administered Ivermectin first week. o
Has a little rain rot on back and on his hind white
horses, knowing their BASELINE can tell you what you’re not
socks; treated with Banixx.
seeing. The Editor’s 13-year-old Belgian x Haflinger gelding,
for example, has a stoic BASELINE so he will not overtly tell
Stands well for farrier.
her when something is wrong, even if he’s literally bleeding
Stands well to be caught in field.
from avulsions on both hind legs; his ergots were torn off
Gets nervous and “looky” when going in the arena
by malfunctioning hind boots and he showed not one
to lunge and do ground work, but calms down considerably
misstep during her hour-long ride. Knowing he has a very
by the end of the session; he does release endorphins and
stoic BASELINE means she must be even more vigilant about
relax a lot after groundwork is completed.
observing his other BASELINE characteristics and thoroughly
After recording Cruise’s BASELINE, we intentionally
looking him over after each ride and when he comes in from
progressed slowly, with groundwork three times per week.
turnout. This is a good example of how knowing your horse’s
Sometimes we also lunged to build more muscle and create
BASELINE helps you interpret and identify health concerns
rhythm in all three gaits. With time, the BASELINE should
quickly, which can save their life.
change a little as he progresses. My TNC rules, however,
Cruisetown’s BASELINE, post-acclimation period: Personality
require the horse be medically and emotionally ready (not just sound) before focusing on his physical needs. Physically,
o Enjoys feeding time
Cruise needed to build muscle slowly, and eventually he was
Comes when called
ready to start training.
Drinks well from the water trough, particularly after
a workout or after eating large amounts of grass o
Does not like the barn with a small dark aisle way
(no surprise; we already knew he didn’t like the trailer)
We’ll discuss training Cruisetown with TNC’s natural horsemanship methods in EQ AM’s next issue. In the meantime, check out www.eq-am.com for more information about what we do and how we do it!
n o t e s f ro m n el s o n
nelson pessoa Note from the Editor: Our interviews with Nelson Pessoa started long ago when Equestre Americas, EQ AM’s predecessor, was a Brazilian publication. Since our purchase and rebranding to an American-themed publication, I had to think a bit as to whether we should continue to publish our conversations with Neco. Ultimately, it seemed absolutely nuts to turn away a living legend who has stuck by us through our transformation, so we didn’t. That being so, unless you readers tell me otherwise, EQ AM will carry on this one Brazilian tradition of publishing our “Notes from Nelson.” It will help us stay grounded on it’s own line.
It’s a considerable understatement to say that
What did you think of the WEG’s organization?
Nelson Pessoa has done a lot: five-time Olympic
Honestly, as far as the logistical organization
Show Jumping, dressage cross-training, and today
is concerned, I found it far below expectations.
training the solid Australian Eventing team for their
The general organization of the games sinned in
show jumping phase. Having such a wide array of
several respects; it seemed that nothing was 100%
experience makes him the perfect brain to pick
ready. There were few hotel options, difficulties
on just about anything equestrian. For this issue,
in the athletes transportation, very few spectators
we talked with Neco about the World Equestrian
most of the time, etc. I know they had to face
Games (WEG) 2018 and his new world of Eventing.
the threats of hurricane Florence, but I think
36 | EQ AM MAGAZINE
I was very pleased to see the beautiful dedication and attention these athletes had for all aspects of their horses and their sport. Nelson Pessoa
that, independent of this threat, many of the
ungrateful, sacrificial sport for both the horse
problems we faced during the contest were
and rider, and it’s a real test to prove if the
unrelated to the possible hurricane.
athlete is really a horseman. The athletes need
With regard to the technical part of the
extreme humility and a true love for the sport
World Equestrian Games, this was very good!
in order to be successful because, by its design,
The courses and routes were well traced, the
the sport has more possibilities and probabilities
competition was very competitive, and the riders
of problems when compared to show jumping
and horses presented a very high technical level.
and dressage alone. The rider must have full
And this was most important.
dedication to the whole sport, and while at WEG, I was very pleased to see the beautiful
Now that you coach an Eventing team, what
dedication and attention these athletes had for
did you think about the Eventing at WEG?
all aspects of their horses and their sport.
As a highly technical part of the contest, I
thought the cross-country phase was very good.
Eventing Team, and my growing experience with
On the course, Captain Mark Phillips performed
the sport, has greatly enriched my know-how
exemplary work; he created an excellent course
about equestrian sport generally. It’s made me
that was a fair test of the horses and really
realize there are more angles and nuances that
technical for the riders.
I did not know.
As “The Wizard” of Show Jumping, what do you think about Eventing? I’ve learned that eventing is a little bit of an
For more Notes from Neco, you can find our unprinted notes on our website at www.eq-am.com.
C O N V E R SATI O NS
Photo FEI/Martin Dokoupil
us top Showjumpers
McLain ward What I really want to know from you is whatever
out of the equation as possible. And during that time,
thoughts you had on the jumps and course designs
you can really focus and you can start to read the course
at the World Equestrian Games (WEG). Knowing
and understand the course designer.
Alan Wade, what did you think about his overall design?
Course designers are very professional and they’re predictable. As most people who are good at what they
Different designers, whether they are a home
do, they stick with what works. And so there are a lot
or interior designer, an architect, or a jump course
of things that, if you pay attention and you watch these
designer, they’re going to have a little different style
different designers, you can have some idea of the test
and preference. Some are more modern, some are more
that might be coming because they’re going to continue
traditional. I thought the jumps at WEG were beautiful.
to do what works well. You’re very rarely going to see
I thought the presentation was great. I thought that it
a test at any of these championships that the course
wasn’t too over the top. I don’t personally love it when
designers haven’t shown you in some way at some other
jumps get over the top theatrical; they start to look like
event. They won’t all of a sudden say, “Well, let me see
how this works at the championships on the world
Alan has a mellow-type personality and he’s pretty conservative. So, I would say there was nothing
stage…” So if you pay attention, you can get an idea of what might be coming.
particularly radical at WEG versus say, Olaf Peterson’s course at the Seoul Olympics (1988) that he designed
Was there a particular jump that, for whatever
to be very theatrical. The designs are a reflection of that
reason, you really liked?
particular course builder’s personality and what they
I like some connection to nature, and tradition, and
think about the direction of the sport and therefore how
something classic. I also like a nice clean presentation,
the courses should be.
in my personal taste. So I thought they did a brilliant job keeping it in the balance. I think it was great jumping,
I didn’t realize just how much of their personality
it was very hard. It was a big test, and I thought the
and personal life course designers build into
“Whisky Still” jump was really beautiful.
their creations. It’s a real art form in that way. In fact, there was one jump—Kittyhawk—that Alan
Were there particular jumps that were difficult for
wouldn’t exactly tell me why he chose to make
it because his reasoning was something personal
Yeah… the ones I knocked down were particularly
between him and his wife. I thought that was really
difficult [laughs], but basically Clinta jumped brilliantly.
interesting and must be very special for them.
The back rail of the Liverpool was tough for us, so that
Speaking of doing things your own way, when you
was probably our most difficult jump.
do the course walkthrough, is there a particular “McLain Ward method” that you use?
I think the course walkthrough is of huge importance.
incorporate their belief about the direction of the
I want to know as much as can. I want to be as well
sport in their design. That being the case, I talked
prepared as possible. I want to take as many variables
to a couple of jumpers who felt that the tracks were
C O N V E R SATI O NS
long in terms of distance and number of jumps. Did
and my calendars. I take into account what I know about
you think that?
their different styles. It’s no different than looking at how
Yeah, the courses were long. I think this year was the
different golf courses suit different types of players. We
first year without the final four, so I think that allowed
look at that within the horses and say, “Ok, this type of
Alan to build a little longer course; typically you’d see
designer is going to suit this particular horse.” And then
12-13 jumps and he went to 14, which is a factor by
obviously we think about different venues and different
the end of the week because it adds up to four or five
surfaces; it at all weighs in pretty heavily.
more fences that needed to be jumped. But again, if you pay attention you’ll know that Alan is pretty old school
Once you’ve decided which horse goes with which
in the way that he expects the horses to be fit and have
competition, what are you concerned about next?
endurance, and because he thinks those are major factors
Like with Clinta for the WEG, what were you
of the sport, he’s going to emphasize the test on them.
concerned about with her?
Yes, he definitely does think that way because he
always get a fence that’s a little bit of a surprise. And
Well, you know, there are always unknowns. You was surprised when I asked him the same question.
with my particular horse [Clinta] who I didn’t have a
His response was that any horse at this level ought
ton of experience with because I’d only had her for
to be able to jump that many jumps. So he is very, as
half a year, there were some unknowns with her that
you said, conservative. He’s literally “by the book”
I might not have had with [HH] Azur who I’ve had for
of regulations; he sticks to it and he builds a fair
a number of years so there are less unknowns.
course to test what he believes any horse at this level should be able to do. And he’s right. Right?
obstacles with her because she’s so careful over them
I think we have a sport that’s become more and more
and she comes at them at such an extreme height over
of an arena sport, so to speak, and less and less the
them, and I’d never jumped water with her at that
original, natural state of the sport. And I think that Alan’s
size and dimension, actually ever. I hadn’t had the
point is that—particularly in major championships—we
practice with the horse, so I was slightly concerned
have to keep that as a factor in our sport: that the horse
about what her reaction was going to be at that type
needs endurance and fitness and health at the
of test, especially since they’re most extreme at the
Knowing that course designers have
As you were heading into the jump off after
their own way of doing things, does
you’d just run 14 fences, what were you thinking
the chosen course designer at a
going into that?
competition have a significant effect
It all happened very fast. I went towards the end
on whether or how you’re going to
of the first round and I was so focused on getting the
I was particularly concerned about the water
score to get us into the jump off; then it was a very
It affects how we approach the year!
quick turnaround. And, it was a unique championship
We take into account the course designers
for me because I was also teaching one of the riders
when I’m planning out my team of horses
on the team, so I had to pay more attention to her
Photo credit FEI/Martin Dokoupil
I like some connection to nature, and tradition, and something classic.
I also like a nice clean presentation, in my personal taste..- mcLain ward
because she was going early in the first round.
like her in our stable, on our team, and in our
I had warmed up a little before my time in
life. She’s a spectacular talent. But, we’re really
the first round, and I had a moment to canter
lucky across the board; we have multiple horses
in the ring to kind of just take a breath before
jumping at that level right now. And it’s great
beginning. I thought to myself, “Well, if I screw
to have the backing and the support to put
this up twice [referring to WEG 2014] I might not
together this great team.
get out of this ring, so I better pull it together.” Editor’s Note: When McLain and Clinta dominated No pressure…
the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup CSIO4* during week 8 of the Winter Equestrian Festival in
through the WEG, are you the type of person
Wellington, FL, he had some interesting comments about that course as well:
who gets charged up by helping someone
It was a good track for me because you
along, or is it the kind of thing where you
could stay smooth. There were rollbacks, but
have to set strict limits for yourself to keep
there weren’t extreme slices. There were no
all or nothing turns, which I prefer. I think it
I think that for me, teaching Adrienne
actually suits the better riders because they can
at this level of riding that she’s at, I find it
consistently deliver a smooth round. Sometimes
exciting. I find it motivating. I’ve learned how
we have all or nothing rollbacks or inside cuts
to compartmentalize certain parts of it so
and it’s a little bit up to the gods. So, I liked the
that I can still focus on my job. It’s a lot about
course; I thought it was good class.
management. It’s a lot about the people you
And even though it was a fast-enough round
have helping you; it’s not a one-man show by
to win, I didn’t feel like I actually was extreme
any means, and that takes a lot of organization.
anywhere. I picked up a good gallop, and things were showing up out of stride. The thing about
My last question is just an open opportunity
[Clinta] is, she’s so careful; you don’t have to
for you to say anything you want to about
really setup the verticals, which saves you two-
Clinta as a teammate and what you see for
tenths [of a second] at every vertical. By the end
her and your future. What would you like
of the course that’s a lot.
to say? Obviously, I’m really excited to have a horse
He and Clinta are at it again… 41
Photo credit FEI/Martin Dokoupil
C O N V E R SATI O NS
Adrienne sternlicht As the greenest member of the US Show Jumping Team
me to stay on the numbers that we count during the course walk. Thank you. Ok, back to what you were saying…
at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) 2018, I’d like
I think one of Alan’s greatest strengths as a course
to get your thoughts on the beautiful course designs
designer is that you see rails fall everywhere on course, so
created by Alan Wade.
you know it’s all challenging. And because of that, I think a
So first off, what did you think about the courses in
lot of the horses jumped better as the week went on.
What was nice was that the first day was not so big. It
On the first day, for me the difficulty was mostly about
was a large track, but it wasn’t so daunting that it was un-
related distances. As a rider, I tend to ride quite timid the
jumpable for the variety of nations there, and different caliber
first day. So, it was a bit about forcing myself to do the right
of horses, and riders with different levels of experience. I felt
numbers in the right places. It was a track that had a lot
like it was an inviting enough track, and he made good use
of options and Alan did a good job of creating courses that
of the space.
were good for horses with big strides and horses with some smaller strides.
And I had a bit of an advantage because I’m very lucky to be under McLain Ward’s guise. McLain has always been a huge proponent of Alan’s course building, and is generally
For the dressage rider in me, what are “related”
a fan of his. And so, knowing what he does, McLain has
distances? I’m not sure I know that term.
sort of made me aware that the best course designers are
What I mean is that there were a lot of bending lines,
quite predicable in some ways. Like, they’ll never throw you
the first day. There were a lot of bending lines. To the naked
an obstacle that you’ve never seen before. At some point it
eye, they weren’t straight lines that were straightforward. I
will have shown up in other courses that they’ve built. Did he
couldn’t just say, “I want to do five in this line,” or something
say this too?
like that. So as a bending line, we would have to decide if we were going to do nine, or ten, or eight to a combination, or
A little bit. We talked about how every course designer
through a turn.
has their own style, and you start to figure out their
We do a lot of counting of strides for a turn. I thought
styles over time.
that the first speed track on the first day really set you up to be
Yeah. I think one of the greatest advantages I have
able to make a lot of those sort of choices, which ultimately
as a rider is working with someone like McLain. With his
can be faster, especially on the right horse. As a rider who
experience and attention to detail, he can recognize and read
doesn’t have a particularly fast horse, it’s really important for
the courses of the best builders in the world, like Alan.
Was there a course that you found particularly
remember the course, but the last line that came down all
challenging? Was there one that you particularly liked?
the time, was like, five or six strides.
As a rider, I very much have some phobias—triple bars
So we walked five, and then McLain said, “it’s absolutely
off the right lead. There’s no real reason for it except that I’m
five after the combination to the last fence.” Then everyone
quite dominant on my left side and my horse [Cristalline] is
in the class did six to the last fence. When we saw how few
quite dominant on the left, too. So for me, two of the rails
people were jumping clear, he said, “If you’re clear, make
that I had down during the week were those back rails off
sure you do six into the combination.” So it ended up being
a short right turn, to a wide obstacle, with a wide triple bar.
six and not five. That’s an example of another advantage;
So that’s definitely an area that needs improvement for me.
you can make a lot of decisions even after the course walk
My favorite course was probably the final day, the final
when you don’t have to go first and can watch other riders.
round. I thought it was a super course, although it probably wasn’t the course best suited for my horse; but I enjoyed the
So after all that, do you ever adapt the plan in the
challenge of how large the fences were on the last day. They
said it was bigger than the Olympics. As a rider, I developed
a greater comfort level jumping over those big tracks—of course, they were the biggest tracks Cristilline and I had ever
But everything is happening so fast! I’m in awe of
show jumpers like you who are able to memorize, first the course, then the steps between the fences,
Did you find the tracks longer, or shorter, or more
and then make changes and adapt on the fly. I mean,
difficult than usual?
that’s incredible. Literally, on the fly ‘cause it’s really
I know there was some complaint about the length of
the courses. They were long. I think most of them were 14
Yeah, it is fast. Personally I feel so connected to
fences. I’m obviously quite green and I haven’t been to other
Cristalline that I try to always do what I feel is right for her
championships like this, but in my mind it seemed that an
in that moment, which for me usually means adding. I’m
event of this caliber should be more challenging and the
a bit of a control freak. But yeah, I think sometimes, often
courses should have different challenging features, like a
times, you won’t catch a certain fence the way you want to
and you have to make a decision in that moment. For me it’s been about learning to trust myself and commit in that
Earlier you mentioned how important it is for you to
moment, especially when the stakes are as high as they were
stay on the numbers from your course walk. When
at the World Championships.
there are so many options, how do you figure out which of those many options you’re going to try?
That definitely makes sense because I suspect that if
I think it’s about knowing your horse and knowing the
you’re going to make a change in the saddle, you
places where you can take a risk and knowing the place
have to deliberately make it so that the confidence
where you shouldn’t. My horse has a big stride, and she’s a
goes through you into your horse. If you’re sort of
big horse. I typically tend to add into a combination, because
not sure, then I can see why that could create a real
otherwise, I land too far into the combination if I come in
problem in your connection.
with too much pace. When McLain and I walk the course together, sometimes
The greatest thing McLain has ever said to me (which he doesn’t know that I think it’s the greatest thing) was
we disagree on a number when we walk. We
when I was walking into the ring before probably my most
tend to come up with a plan together
important round during the Dublin Grand Prix and he said,
and then walk separately. As an example,
“I’m not asking for perfection, I’m asking for clarity.” And
on the second day, he was positive when
for me that’s how I can be the best rider possible.
we walked that we were going to do five to the last fence. I don’t know if you
Well, he will now.
you must have six fences and one double, so I kept it to the bare minimum, but all that has to be posted, and measured, and up on the board. I was prepared for it. When you design the course, do you think about how each rail can affect the score? Yesterday, there were riders who at one point in the track were in 22nd place, and then they knocked down that last rail and suddenly they we’re in 72nd place. That one rail cost so much. Do you factor that in? Can you imagine those things ahead of time? Well no, but four points is four points. As you see, even on the list, four points brings a lot of people into
medals. Then if they actually have two fences down, they drop a long way. So a rail, at this stage, can be the difference... Even a time fault… Even one time fault can be a medal lost.
EQ AM had the pleasure of speaking with WEG Course Designer Alan Wade right after Team USA
During the main competition today, I saw that you
bit into their gold medals. We asked him how
were evaluating everything as it was happening
he makes the magic happen on the World stage;
and you were talking with some of the folks who
it turns out he just follows the book… The FEI
are running the jumps. What are you doing? What’s
Rulebook that is.
So, you’ve had to design four courses so far
Just making sure they were prepared because we
(including the jump off). Can you tell me a little bit
knew we had to remove a couple of fences and we had
about what goes into that and your thoughts on
just four minutes to do it. I have a great team around
how each one progresses.
me, in fairness, and they’re putting in long hours, but
Well, the warmup was very simple and the first speed
just to keep them on the ball so that we were all ready
leg was to separate the teams. It was 1.55m, which was
to go. So should McLain knock the rail, we knew when
10 centimeters lower than today. So then the first team
he knocked the rail that we were prepared to come
leg yesterday was higher. I have sort of pictured it all in
in for a jump off. Before that, we had a plan for the
my mind. Then three different tests. Then mix up those
presentation. When the possibility of a jump off arrived
three up so that I’m not testing the same thing the whole
and then it was actually going to happen, we had to
time. With what might have suited someone yesterday, I
change to plan B.
tried to put in something today that wouldn’t suit them as much, just to see if they could get an overall balance
What else were you thinking as you watched your
and a good result. Then when you get an afternoon
course play out?
of jumping like this and you had a jump off. It was unbelievable!
Well, for me, I’m only the course designer. You know what I mean? I actually get embarrassed when I’m center stage sometimes at press conferences because it’s
You said earlier in the week that you didn’t think
actually the riders and the horses that should be center
there’d be a jump off, but then there was… Do you
stage, and they are. I’m only providing the test. As a
always have a jump off course in your pocket, just
team, we’re providing the test. They’re the super stars.
No, no, no. I was prepared for it, but I thought the
I think a lot of people are interested in what goes
possibilities were very slight at the start of the week.
into designing these courses. I think they’re very
It depends on the rules of the class, but this class had
interested to know how these courses are made—
to have a jump off prepared. I only wanted six fences;
how they come to be and how the brilliant people
short because obviously the riders had already jumped
that create them see them in their mind and then
their full round and they had two more possibly to go
make them happen. I think that you are more
on Sunday, so I kept it short and sweet. Under the rules,
thought of than you think, by even the lowest
C O N V E R SATI O NS
levels of jumpers who are just aspiring to get up
starters actually went through the finish line, which is,
to this level.
at that level of competition at a world championships
I just try to be fair in all my courses, whatever show I design for. I start with a very simple course and I just...
with that height and difficultly, I think that was a fair achievement!
Even today, the line was very simple, if you analyze it. It was only about the distances.
Even though it’s simple and flowing, it’s still quite challenging. How do you balance those two things?
It’s fair to say that all course designers have their own identifiable style?
Well, at the top level, you need the fence material, you need the colors, you need the combination of
Without doubt. Yes, without doubt. That’s good.
colors, you need the combination of distances and you
You know what I mean? I think it’s very good. If we were
lengthen them and you shorten them. When you get
all the same it would get a bit boring.
up the grades to this level, you increase the challenging distances. It’s a bit like an accordion. You’re trying to
Do you ever go outside of that style to create
ask them to lengthen and then you’re asking them to
shorten to see if they have the control.
I have my way, and I have certain things I like and don’t like. I don’t change. You don’t come to a championship
What about the length of the course? When the
and change your style. I have a simple enough style, a
media got to walk the course this afternoon, some
simple enough line. I respect the horses and I try and
folks were commenting about how long the course
come from a simple line. I keep going back to that. I’ve
was: how many jumps it was and to have that
trusted that. I always say, “Keep it simple and flowing.”
length three days in a row. Did you intend for that
Other people build them differently than me; there are a
to be particularly challenging?
lot of top course designers out there. I don’t want to reinvent the wheel, and as you can
horses are fit and they’ve trained to the last. I’ve been
see, if you have the right material in the right place, it
working with horses all my life. If your horse is fit and
can get difficult without being “over big.” I still have
healthy at this level, they should be able to do it. And
plenty of height left for Sunday, but I didn’t overbuild
the other thing is, you have to consider that the top
today, I didn’t panic. I just treated it as a Nation’s Cup
riders work with their management team and tailor their
course. The results were quite nice today; we had faults
warmup to suit this. For me, it’s just part of the test. And
I don’t think just because there’s 14 jumps it’s going be
And, I’m not worried about the numbers that clear. I
a really long course. Today’s course was actually shorter
just try and design something. But, I was over the moon
than yesterday’s. You’re only in there for a minute and
when I saw the results from yesterday. It turned out to
20 seconds. Hopefully a little less. You know what I’m
be a tougher track than I
thought, but 119 out of 121
Photo credit FEI/Martin Dokoupil
This is what you’re allowed under the rules. The
C O N V E R SATI O NS
I don’t want to reinvent the wheel, and as you can see, if you have the right
material in the right place, it can get difficult without being “over big.” .- Alan wade
For those of us not as familiar with the FEI rules,
personal and we had to have the Kittyhawk in after that.
what is the limit for length and number of jumps? The length for yesterday and today had to be over
Was your wife here today? Yes. She was up there
500 meters and under 600 meters. We were in the
in the box with you? Yeah. She was sitting just beside
middle, I think, 545m today. Then on Sunday it drops
me. She’s there to support me. You need it. You know
down; we can be 450m. Then in the last round we can
what I mean? You do need someone to lean on when
drop down to 400m. It has to be the minimum length,
you’re dealing with very expensive animals and high-
but on Sunday we can have 13 fences in the first round
pressure athletes. They’re at the pinnacle of their sport.
and 12 in the second.
This is a big thing to them. We don’t want to … I try not to make mistakes. That puts a lot of pressure on my
Will the course for Sunday be all new jumps, or just
team and me, so you need someone there just to bring
you back to earth and to support you.
A different order. I make sure we have different fill. Say the middle of the jump, the wings will be basically
Do you worry about things as they’re playing out
the same, but we just change up what fill we put on
or just up to the start and then you can relax?
Once we get started and we have the three horses gone and the time allowed is decided, I kind of relax
Did you have a say in the design and production of
because you cannot do anything about it then. You just
let the sport play out after that, but up until that point,
Yes. Steve Stevens, from America, has been unbelievable.
you’re trying to control everything. But you cannot do it,
Steve is a top-level course designer in his own right. He
so sometimes you just have to go with your gut feeling—
knew what I would like. I’ve been over and back to shows
with what over 30 years designing courses has taught
in America. I’ve met up with him, and we WhatsApp
me. You hope that everyone is safe and sound at the
every day, and went through each individual fence. He
end of the day, but that’s why you need a support team
was in charge of the overall fence production. I put in
around you—just to reaffirm your own decisions.
my designs. I came up with ideas and he came up with ideas. He had an artist draw them all up. We ended up with a list of maybe 40 different designs; then it was up to the organizing committee to go through them and see what they liked and didn’t like. It’s a long process. You try and make some special jumps, then you try and put them in the right place. As you’re designing them, are you already imaging where you’ll place them in the sequence, if they get accepted? I am. What’s was your favorite jump out there today, and why? I would have to say, and it’s for personal reasons, “Kittyhawk.” It’s just something that happened at home or whatever, when we were thinking about fences. My wife is a big help with the fences. She’s a lot more artistic then me. With the colors. She found the picture of the Biltmore windows to come up with that fence. That would be my second favorite, but Kittyhawk came from an article that she found in a book. It was very
Alan Smiling After USA Wins.
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more than the purchase price ($34.95).
In an attempt to heighten your visual awareness and shorten the time period between the onset of
your horse’s problem and your recognition of that
Our horses are counting on us to recognize
problem, I would like to share a few tricks that
performance problems. The sooner we can do
may help you to better perceive and characterize
48 | EQ AM MAGAZINE
Our horses are counting on us to recognize performance problems. - Dr. Bob Grisel, DVM
equine performance issues (i.e. lameness).
limb(s), or even the structure within the
Specifically, we will discuss three things:
affected limb(s), that is likely responsible for
1.How to identify the horse’s lame limb
the lameness. Believe it or not, your horse is
2.How to determine the nature of the horse’s
imparting all of these details with each and
every step that it takes. As we’ll see, horses
3.How to gauge the degree (or severity) of
utilize a form of sign language that they
convey by altering the movement of their body
These features not only provide insight
and limbs. Those of us who learn to assimilate
into your horse’s current problem, they also
provide the information needed to properly
will become effective observers of equine
manage your horse’s performance over the
lameness. Of course this demands that we
long-term. For instance, if someone contacts
first explore the interplay between motion
our veterinary office and says their horse is
and meaning. It also requires that we listen
lame, all we really know is that something
with our eyes instead of our ears.
isn’t quite right with respect to how the horse
Presume, for instance, that your horse has
is moving. On the other hand, if someone
a problem in the left front foot. Or in the left
tells us that the horse is exhibiting a severe
front fetlock. Or even in the left shoulder.
weight-bearing lameness in the left hind limb
All of these problems would generate an
and is attempting to stand on the toe, we can
observable lameness in the left forelimb. But
presume that the likely cause is a foot bruise
your horse’s expression of left fore lameness
or abscess somewhere within the heel.
would be very different depending on which
of these structures was the source. A sore foot
determine which of the horse’s limb or
looks a lot different than a sore fetlock, which
limbs may be involved, but also gain some
looks a lot different than a sore shoulder.
appreciation for the region of the affected
The key to informative visual assessment
G O O D R E ADS
lies in our ability to recognize patterns of
looking at lame horses.
movement. The horse repeats both normal and
Let’s consider that your horse has a sore
abnormal actions with each stride, thereby
left front (LF) foot. It will effectively transfer
affording us the opportunity to develop and
the weight off of the sore LF foot and onto
confirm our impressions over time.
the more comfortable RF foot. As observers,
Before we get any further along, we
we can visibly perceive this
should define the term lameness. Simply
transfer of weight through
put, lameness is any alteration of the horse’s
motion of the body, head
normal gait. We typically think of lameness in
the context of something that hurts, although
drop and move to the horse’s
an alteration of the gait can also occur as a
comfortable (or right) side.
consequence of biomechanical restriction. For instance, we can alter a horse’s gait by applying a bandage that restricts motion of the carpus (or “knee”)… this will produce a conspicuous lameness even though the horse may not experience any pain. Neurologic dysfunction can also alter the horse’s gait in the absence of pain. A comfortable horse that doesn’t know where its legs are will assuredly demonstrate visible lameness. What causes the horse to alter its gait? In other words, why do horse’s limp? Most of us naturally think of pain as the inciter. We should realize, however, that even in this instance it isn’t pain that directly generates the horse’s lameness. Rather, it is the horse’s attempt to avoid the pain that generates the lameness. So as observers, we don’t directly see the source of the horse’s problem. Rather, we see how the horse alters its body movement to escape or accommodate the problem. This is an important distinction and will help us to better interpret our observations when
On the other hand, what if both of your horse’s feet were comparably sore? What would you see then? Your horse would prefer to under load one limb by transferring weight onto the other leg, but that would only accentuate pain in the opposing foot, a structure that your horse would also prefer to avoid loading. In essence, your horse can’t shift weight to either side without exacerbating pain somewhere. Accordingly, we may not be able to perceive any significant transfer of weight as the horse moves, causing us to believe that it is actually comfortable and sound. Of course, the horse is anything but comfortable: both front feet hurt; there just isn’t an effective way to express the pain in this case. The horse may walk funny, but not necessarily demonstrate an overt limp. We call this bilateral suppression of lameness. 50
Since horses have a hard time limping in
As observers, we should always remember to evaluate
two limbs at the same time, we may choose to
both the front and back halves of the horse. Moreover, it is
deliberately manipulate the evaluation stage for the
best to evaluate both halves separately: look at the horse’s
purpose of our assessment. Our goal is to create a setting
front end then inspect the horse’s back end. Also, try not
that enables the horse to visibly express its lameness so
to fixate on one aspect of the horse’s anatomy, but rather
that we can perceive it. If we put our horse with two sore feet on a hard surface and lunged it in both directions, for example, it would express visible lameness in the limb along the inside of the lungeing circle. That’s because the shift of the horse’s center of gravity while circling
on the regular oscillations of the median or axial anatomy. This is most easily achieved while the horse is trotting. In the forelimbs, the axial anatomy is represented by the horse’s head, neck, chest, and withers. In the hind limbs we watch movement of the horse’s pelvis. With practice you will begin to see these structures “sink into” the sound limb when the
dictates that the inside limb bears more weight than the
latter is on the ground. The lame limb, therefore, is the one
outside limb. As a consequence of bearing more weight,
on the opposite side of the horse.
the inside limb would hurt more, causing the horse to visibly shift
Determining the Nature of the Horse’s Lameness
some of the weight to the outside.
Now that we’ve decided which limb is lame, let’s
As observers, we can suddenly
determine the nature of the horse’s lameness. There are
perceive a lameness that was not
three general forms of lameness: weight-bearing lameness,
visible on a straight line.
non weight-bearing lameness, and combination lameness. Weight-bearing lameness is evident when the affected limb is
Determining the Horse’s Lame Limb How do we determine which limb is lame? If there is one thing that you glean from this article let it be this: Don’t look for the lame limb; look for the comfortable or sound limb. It is inherently easier to discern a horse dropping or falling into the comfortable side as opposed to favoring the uncomfortable side. The popular “down-on-sound” phrase commonly used to delineate the appearance of lameness in the horse typifies this concept: the horse will sink into its comfortable side. So if you see your horse’s chest, neck or head drop when the RF limb is on the ground that means that the LF limb is the lame one. Similarly, if you see your horse’s pelvis drop or sink into the RH limb when it’s on the ground, than that means it’s lame in the LH limb.
on the ground and bearing weight. If you put a rock in your left shoe you could comfortably swing your respective limb through the air, but as soon as you put your foot down you would feel that rock pressing into your foot and accordingly shift your weight onto your other limb. Non weight-bearing lameness, on the other hand, is evident during protraction or the flight phase of the limb. For instance, if you apply a brace on your left knee you could comfortably stand on the respective limb, but you’ll display an obvious limp when you go to pick up the limb and move it forward. Combination or mixed lameness is generated by something that alters the horse’s ability to both bear weight on the affected limb and move it forward. It would be like having a brace on your left knee and a rock in your left shoe at the same time.
G O O D R E ADS
Purely non weight-bearing lameness is generated by
limb. For an example, let’s say that your horse sinks into the RF
something that serves to actively move the limb forward,
limb, telling us that the LF limb is lame:
but does not bear an appreciable amount of the horse’s
• In the case of weight-bearing lameness, it will appear as
weight. In general, structures residing above the level of the
though your horse will step into a hole
horse’s carpus (forelimb) or tarsus (hind limb) most often fit
with RF limb. This action represents a
this description. If you guess that a horse displaying purely
transfer in weight from the lame (LF)
non weight-bearing lameness has a problem in the foot, you
limb to the comfortable (RF) limb. The
will be wrong every time. (See figure 4)
deeper the hole, the more severe the
Anatomy that serves to both bear the horse’s weight and
move the limb forward will generate combination deficits when affected. Generally speaking, structures residing above
• In the case of non-weight-bearing lameness, it will appear as
the level of the fetlock and below the level of the carpus
though your horse is dragging a weight
(forelimb) or tarsus (hind limb) most often fit this description.
with the LF limb. This action represents
If the duties of load bearing and limb protraction are equally
an increase in effort needed to advance
distributed, then the resulting lameness will have equal
the lame (LF) limb forward. The heavier
weight-bearing and non weight-bearing components. If
the weight, the more severe the non-
the affected structure bears a lot of weight but moves very
little, the horse will display a combination lameness with a predominant weight-bearing component. So in essence, you can learn the function of the tissue
• By reason, a combination lameness will look like your horse is stepping into a hole with the RF limb while concurrently
causing the lameness simply by determining the nature
dragging a weight with the LF limb.
of the lameness. In similar fashion, you can predict what a
When we see this, we know that the
lameness will look like if generated by a specific part of the
insulting tissue bears the horse’s weight
horse’s anatomy. We can predict that a problem in the foot
and moves the limb forward, and it’s
will generate a weight-bearing lameness because it obviously
most likely to reside somewhere along
bears the horse’s weight, but doesn’t distort appreciably when
the horse moves the limb forward. By contrast, the horse’s biceps tendon (located along the front of the shoulder)
This concept may seem fairly simple, but I use this technique
doesn’t serve to bear any significant amount of weight.
in my regular practice of veterinary medicine. For instance, many
It moves dramatically to help the horse advance the limb
MRI reports that I read contain up to a half dozen different
forward, however. Accordingly, we can predict that bicipital
diagnoses listed by the attending radiologist. This means that
problems will always generate a purely non weight-bearing
there are about six structural abnormalities visible on the images.
lameness. (See figure 5).
Are all of these things causing the horse’s lameness? Definitely
This sounds good, but how do you tell the difference
not! So which problem do I treat? My ability to determine the
between horses exhibiting weight-bearing, non-weight-
nature of the horse’s lameness through clinical examination (or
bearing, and combination lamenesses? It’s actually very easy.
video review) tells me what the structure causing the lameness
Like we said before, the horse will sink into the comfortable
essentially “does for a living.” Accordingly, I can effectively
limb, telling us that the opposing limb is the uncomfortable
rule-out the radiographic diagnoses that implicate tissues that
LEADING PUBLISHER OF EQUESTRIAN BOOKS & VIDEOS
do not fit this job description. In most cases, there is only one or two structures listed in the report that would be expected to generate the observed gait characteristics. It is on these structures (specifically) that I direct my attention with respect to further diagnostics and treatment.
Summary: It is best to think about the horse’s anatomy from two standpoints: (1) how much load each structure bears and
A one-of-a-kind reference with links to hundreds of videos!
(2) how much each structure moves (contorts). If a certain part of the anatomy experiences a weight-bearing load when the horse’s limb is on the ground, then pathology associated with this structure will produce a weight-bearing lameness. This is the
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case, where the horse appears to step into a hole with the other (sound) limb. The deeper the imaginary hole, the more severe the lameness. If a certain part of the anatomy moves significantly as the horse advances the limb, any associated pathology will produce a non-weight-bearing lameness. In this case, it will appear as though the horse is dragging a weight with the lame limb. The heavier the imaginary weight, the more severe the lameness. Structures that serve both functions will generate combination lameness, and the relative proportions of weight-bearing versus non-weight-bearing is determined by the contribution the affected tissue affords each of the aforementioned functions. Horses displaying combination lameness will appear as though they are stepping into a hole with the sound limb while simultaneously dragging a weight with the lame limb. Remember, your horse is using sign language to convey where the problem is. Learning how to assimilate this language
Denny Emerson’s Û best advice for doing right by your horse.
will not only help you to better recognize and manage performance-related issues, it will also provide you with a deeper, more meaningful connection to your horse and a better start point when it might be time to call the vet. Read the Whole Story in Lameness for the Layman, a book by G. Robert Grisel, DVM (Trafalgar Square Books, 2018). www.horseandriderbooks.com/product/EQLAFO.html
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A d ver t or i a l
Hermès Vivace Saddle On February 26, 2019, Hermès hosted to
the saddle and a forward balance
with stability and comfort for
saddle. Olympian and Hermès
those riders who like to be out of
Partner Rider, Anne Kursinski,
the saddle when jumping.
led a clinic featuring three up
The Vivace is entirely tailor-
and coming ladies, Karen Polle,
made with a calfskin seat and
knee roll, supple flexible flaps,
Connors. The Hermès Vivace offers a first-of-its-kind close contact feel
and thin and flat panels to spread contact surface over the horse’s back.
between horse and rider, while
“I really appreciate the effort
eliminating extra thickness and
done to remove all the elements
pressure to enhance the horses
which are not necessary. Less
The Vivace is designed to be as thin as possible to maintain close 54
contact with the horse when in
contact with the horse.” - Anne Kursinski.
The Hermès Vivace saddle on display at it’s own little launch party.
Hermès never ceases to amaze with the classic beauty of its gatherings.
Lucy Deslauriers sitting pretty in her Hermès Vivace saddle.
Para dressage Laureen Johnson is the US Equestrian (USEF) Director of Para Dressage and Vaulting. EQ AM had the chance to talk with her about what qualifies someone for a para equestrian classification and the organization’s new Para Centers of Excellence (COEs).
First, can you educate our readers a bit about para
disability. There are five grades, I - V. Grade V is the
dressage in general? How long has it been a USEF sport?
least disabled and Grade I is the most disabled. Athletes
Laureen: To give a little history, the first para
within a grade compete against each other on a level
dressage competition was at the first Paralympic Games
in Atlanta in 1996. So it’s been around for a while. How does a rider become qualified, and at what Would you agree though that, for the average equestrian, it’s not really on their radar? I had no idea it had been around that long.
grade? To get a national classification, you only need one classifier within your country, the U.S., to give you a
That is one of our issues. There’s very little known
bench evaluation and observe you riding. They determine
about the program. I am constantly hearing, “I had no
what grade you’re put in. Classifiers are either physical
idea there was such a program. I’d love to get involved.
therapists or doctors.
Can you tell me more about it?”
Of course, you can’t compete in international shows without an international classification, so for
So let’s work on that… What qualifies someone for
an international classification, they’re done at the
the para program?
CPDI 3* shows. These are our domestic international
You have to have a permanent, measurable, physical 56 | EQ AM MAGAZINE
competitions, and we will invite a classifier from Europe
P A R A D R E SSA G E
to come to those competitions. It’s mandatory. And we
evaluated for their walk; otherwise it would make
would have one U.S. classifier as well. So, the individuals
this grade very, very difficult.
would receive a bench testing that’s two classifiers at once,
So does the rider find their horse? Or, does someone
and then be observed by the two classifiers to get the
from the para program find the horse and try to
national and international classification. We just had two
match it with the rider?
such events at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival that went very well; USA won the team competition.
No, the riders are responsible for finding their own mounts, and then they have them privately evaluated to determine if they are appropriate for para dressage and
Where do riders find horses suitable for para
a good match for that particular para rider. The rider may
ask the USEF para coach for his opinion, but generally the
Finding a para horse... Well, it is difficult, more difficult
riders find their own horses. Some barns may also help
than it is for the other disciplines because you have to
their riders find the right para horse if they have a deeper
have a very safe and reliable horse who is also capable
knowledge of para dressage.
of adapting to the para rider’s particular needs, and that requires an extra-sound mind. This is especially true for
Is para dressage judged differently than regular
horse’s paired with lower grade athletes, like Grade I, they
compete in walk only. And then, Grade II is walk and trot.
Yes, that’s the other thing about para-equestrian.
So, with each grade, it advances a little bit more. So, for
While the rider is judged in dressage, judges do not look
Grade I, you want a horse with a great walk, and that’s
at the rider in para-dressage; they only look at the way
actually not that easy to find, believe it or not.
the horse goes. So if a rider has a disability like scoliosis and their back was all crooked, they think, “Oh, I would
I do believe it. I recently read that the walk is the
never qualify because of the way I look on a horse,” but
hardest part of a dressage test. Most people overlook
the way they look does not matter: they are not judged on
it because they think, “it’s just a walk,” but it’s very
that at all.
Photo credit FEI/Liz Gregg
severely graded. When I watched the Grade I class at the World Equestrian Games (WEG), I was thinking
I didn’t know that, but that makes perfect sense because
that those horses must have been pretty strictly
para riders can’t really control how they look in the
p a r a d re s s a ge
saddle. What really matters is what they can get a
somebody on staff who does have a knowledge of
horse to perform in spite of their limitations. What
dressage. Right now we have seven centers. Our goal
are these new Centers of Excellence I’ve heard about?
is to have one in every state so that anybody who may
About three years ago, Will Connell, who is from
contact us and say, “I’m a disabled person who would
Great Britain and is now our sport director, suggested that
love to learn to ride. Where would I go?” We can send
we start these COEs within the Professional Association
them to their closest COE.
of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) therapeutic riding centers, as they do in Great Britain through what they
Where are the existing COEs located?
call “RDA” (Riding for the Disabled Association). The
Carlisle Academy (Lyman, ME)
purpose is for the PATH centers to identify talents within
o Contact: Sarah Armentrout, sarmentrout@
their therapeutic riding students. So, for those students
that are disabled that want to take on competitive
Healing Strides of VA (Boones Mill, VA)
riding, they would work with the COE to get there. The
Contact: Carol Young, carol@healingstridesofva.
COEs are the primary hubs for delivering the USEF Para-
Equestrian Dressage Developing and High Performance
North Texas Equestrian Center (NTEC) (Wylie, TX)
Programs, as well as coaching clinics.
Contact: Kai Handt, Kaihandt@yahoo.com
Ride On Therapeutic Riding Center (Chatsworth, Is the COE more of a program, or is actually a delineated place? PATH centers apply to become a COE. We have certain criteria that they must meet, such as they need to have an arena and the footing needs to be proper for dressage. Having competitive horses is ideal and
58 | EQ AM MAGAZINE
Contact: Megan McQueeney, jrsporthorses@
gmail.com Therapeutic Riding, Inc (Ann Arbor, MI) o Contact:
Photo credit FEI/Paradressage
(Loxahatchee, FL) o
Contact: Susan Guinan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wheatland Farm Equestrian Center (Purcellville,
Where can our readers learn more about COEs? On our website: https://www.usef.org/compete/ disciplines/para-equestrian/para-equestrian-dressageprograms-forms/centers-of-excellence
Contact: Muriel Forrest, amurielforrest@gmail.
com Regarding certifying a COE in each state, what’s the status of that endeavor? We didn’t want to start growing it too quickly because we needed to ensure there were enough appropriately trained coaches and staff, so we started with pilot centers and to see how it would develop, and if there was any success with it. So far it’s going really well and we have three new applications for COE certification that just came in within the last month. We have a panel that will evaluate it and we’ll have someone from the panel go visit the center to make sure it’s safe and that the facility itself is what we’re looking for within USEF parameters. And then, if all goes well, we’ll name them Centers of Excellence.
e d i t or i a l
By Molly Sorge/Jump Media Photo by Sportfot
McLain Ward and Clinta captured the title in the 2018 $382,200 Longines Masters Grand Prix of New York. 60
What’s Happening at the Longines Masters of New York The best in the world are coming to New York, and it’s an event you won’t want to miss. The thrilling action of the Longines Masters Series returns to New York on April 25-28 with exhilarating show jumping action from the world’s top riders along with exquisite hospitality experiences and live entertainment. The Longines Masters of New York (LMNY)
26, at LMNY as the world’s top riders and up-
is the third stop of the 2018-2019 Longines
and-coming young stars lay it all on the line in
Masters Series, and global show jumping stars will
the Longines Speed Challenge. It’s known as the
converge in New York at the NYCB LIVE, Home of
fastest class in the world, and riders race hard
the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, for four
for the win. Instead of the usual four seconds
days of action-packed show jumping, mesmerizing
added for a rail, only two seconds get added
entertainment, and of course… family fun.
to a rider’s time for each rail, making them feel
On Saturday, April 27, you’ll see some of the
brave about taking all the risks. At the Longines
best riders in the world hold nothing back for a
Masters of Paris in November, French rider Kevin
team win in the Riders Masters Cup. It will be the
Staut scored a hugely popular win in the Longines
fourth edition of the Rider Masters Cup, and the
Speed Challenge in front of his home country
Riders USA team will be hungry to score their first
crowd, while Irish rider Bertram Allen outran
win in the series against Riders Europe on home
everyone else in the Longines Speed Challenge at
soil. In the Riders Masters Cup at the 2018 LMNY,
the Longines Masters of Hong Kong in February.
the team title came down to a breathtaking race
Last year, New York native and crowd favorite,
between USA’s McLain Ward and Europe’s Harrie
McLain Ward, claimed the prestigious title of
Smolders. Both riders dug deep as they galloped
winner of the Longines Grand Prix of New York.
around the track, but Smolders stopped the
On Sunday, April 28, the world’s best will again
timers just a few seconds sooner than Ward, to
contend for the honor. Some of the top U.S. riders
give Riders Europe the victory.
are scheduled to compete at LMNY, including
“That final duel was really one for the ages,”
Ward, New York City’s own Georgina Bloomberg,
said Riders USA Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland
Olympic team gold medalist Beezie Madden,
about the 2018 finish. “It’s really exciting to see
Olympic team silver medalists Kent Farrington and
the top riders in the world going for speed. It’s
Lucy Davis, and many other big-talent riders. Top-
a great format. We’ll be back again!” Ridland
ranked counterparts from Europe will join them in
will guide the Riders USA team as Chef d’Equipe,
the quest to win the Longines Grand Prix of New
while Philippe Guerdat acts as Chef d’Equipe for
Riders Europe as five riders from each team go head-to-head in two rounds of speed duels. Speed is also on the schedule for Friday, April
The schedule for Friday, April 26, includes the inaugural Intercollegiate Horse Show Association’s Metropolitan Equitation Invitational, where select
Photo by World Redeye for EEM
Riders USA and Riders Europe teams will challenge each other for the coveted Riders Masters Cup.
intercollegiate riders will show off their skills. Just
between a horse and a rider that make our sport
24 IHSA Open level riders will compete in the first
so unique. We felt partnering with the AKC for
phase, an over-fences round, while 12 will return
an agility competition was a natural fit,” said
for the flat phase before judges decide the winner.
Christophe Ameeuw, CEO of EEM and founder of
On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the show,
Upon the conclusion of the Rider Masters Cup
take center stage in the ring with his remarkable
on Saturday evening, famed DJ Henri PRF will
liberty performance. Serra works to highlight
headline an after-party full of fun. “They’re really
the natural beauty and athletic ability of horses
making this an entertainment spectacle, which is
in the wild, showcasing their willingness to
phenomenal,” said Ward. “It’s something that’s
perform without the use of tack or force. Serra
been missing in promoting our sport; making it
refers to his animals as “actors,” and frequently
more exciting to a more diverse audience.”
includes his Border Collies in the performances. His hallmark is extraordinary choreography of human, horse, and dog. The
Photo by Bernstein Associates for EEM
the Longines Masters series.
popular Spanish equestrian artist Santi Serra will
three levels of hospitality offering customized at
experiences with ringside seating and unlimited
LMNY will also include the
food and beverages in the Grant Thornton VIP
presented by EEM, where athletic
And, it’s all on TV! EEM.tv, which offers viewers
canines will take the spotlight on Thursday,
the chance to follow along with the competition
April 25. Some of the nation’s top dogs will
at all EEM events worldwide, is available live and
compete over a testing agility course for
free of charge.
top prizes. “We are honored to partner
To find out more about Longines Masters
with the AKC for the Agility Premier Cup.
of New York, visit www.longinesmasters.com/
The incredible bond between a dog and its
en/new-york and to buy tickets visit www.
trainer is very similar to the relationship
Spectacular equestrian artist Santi Serra will enchant the crowd with his remarkable liberty performances of horse, human, and dog.
Eve Jobs on Venue D’fees Des Hazalles over the Lugano jump at the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival / photo by Sportfot.
Giving Since the Beginning Ralph Waldo Emerson believed, “the purpose of life… is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Because of this belief, the Orange County-based
became a teenage European champion and continues
fine jeweler actively supports arts, education, medical
to be a well-respected and extremely successful trainer
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and horse merchant, working with some of the most
Lugano Diamonds is renowned for its leadership and
influential owners and riders of today’s horse world.
international reach to procure the largest, rarest, most
While Ilan takes a more literal approach to horse sport,
unique, and conflict free gemstones. Moti Ferder founded
brother Moti stewards the sport from every other angle.
the international jewelry company with the vision of
Though Ferder has arguably created one of the most
creating exquisite, one-of-a-kind, wearable works of art.
beautiful businesses in the world, he believes the real
By controlling all facets of production, Lugano’s small
glamor comes from the connection between art and
team of master artisans creates each piece of jewelry at
the culture of a community. In particular, he believes
the highest standards with meticulous attention to detail.
the connection between man and horse is a graceful art
We marvel at their equestrian-themed jewels every time
form. This connection has inspired Lugano to create an
we enter Lugano’s salons at our most favorite horse
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one of the most highly ranked sponsors of equestrian sports, you can view many of these exquisite, bespoke
See the art Ferder draws inspiration from many forms of art
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and culture to create his jewelry, including America’s horse culture. Ferder’s love of horses grew out of his small family horse farm in Israel where his brother, Ilan, 64
Sponsor the sport At many of those same equestrian events, you’ll
our w orl d Written by Carina Roselli & Heather Wilkins
see the “Lugano Diamonds” jump prominently
causes. At the Winter Equestrian Festival, Lugano
featured mid-arena, representing the prominent
assisted with financial contributions and jewelry
place Ferder’s company now occupies as a proud
donations to support Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding
sponsor of several major competitions, including
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the FEI World Equestrian Games (Tryon, NC 2018),
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(Sonoma, CA), Split Rock Jumping Tour Sonoma
Vinceremos Gala, which fundraises for the Center’s
International (Sonoma, CA), The Devon Horse Show
year-round operations. Vinceremos staff quipped,
and Country FairUpperville Colt & Horse Show
“Lugano Diamonds brought some real sparkle to
(Upperville, VA), Central Park Horse Show (New
this year’s Vinceremos Benefit!”
York, NY), Washington International Horse Show
Lugano also supports Washington International
(Washington, DC), the International Polo Club Palm
Horse Show’s (WIHS) partner charity, the Tragedy
Beach (Wellington, FL), the US Polo Team, and more
all the time!
counseling and assistance program for over 30,000
family members of fallen service men and women
shows, like the Giant Steps Charity Classic at the
across the U.S. and abroad. Lugano donates jewelry
Sonoma Horse Park. Giant Steps Charity is an
for TAPS to auction off each year on “Military Night”
amazing group offering therapeutic riding and
when Lugano and TAPS both have their own jumps
equine-assisted activities to children and adults
in the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final,
with disabilities, which dovetails nicely with Ferder’s
which includes the side-competition “Jump for TAPS.”
other philanthropic endeavors.
Lugano also provides a VIP dinner so that other donations accrue through table reservation, where
Support the community
philanthropic spectators can watch as each rider clears
Not only has Ferder led his company to steward
the TAPS jump and another donation is made to the
the sport through sponsorship, but he’s also made
organization. Lugano greatly admires and commends
Lugano a long-standing supporter of equestrian
TAPS’ work, and eagerly supports its efforts.
Owner Moti Ferder and Operations Manager David Stillwagon (far left) present Beezie Madden with her 2018 WEF CSI4* Grand Prix winnings
our w orl d
Photo courtesy of Lugano Diamonds
Spread the philanthropy
Steward the rest
Lugano’s sense of service extends well beyond
One of Lugano’s tenants is “to be stewards
horse-related activities into the community
of giving while encouraging others to give
at large. The company is deeply involved in
back.” Ferder and Lugano conceptualize
supporting non-profit organizations. Ferder
everything they do for the greater good of
sits on several boards, including the American
“the community,” which for them sometimes
Film Institute, the Segerstrom Center for the
extends to the whole world. Ferder says,
Arts, and is a Fellow of the prestigious Aspen
“Our business is built on relationships, and
Institute of the Aspen Global Leadership
we invest our time and resources in projects
Network. Beyond that, Lugano supports a
that are close to our hearts and important
variety of nonprofit causes, organizations,
to our friends and clients. We believe in
and events, including CASA (Court Appointed
supporting efforts that help strengthen,
Special Advocates) for Children, United Way,
build, and better our communities to make
the Buddy Program (Aspen), the Tahirih Justice
Center, and The Orangewood Foundation for
and their children.” We are fortunate to
foster and community youth services. Lugano
stewarding our community.
jewelry donations to these many important causes. Ferder also avidly supports many health and wellness research and medical care programs, such as Aspen Hospital, Alzheimer’s Orange County, the Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, the Crohns & Colitis Foundation, the Cystinosis Research Foundation, Cure Duchenne, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Lupus Foundation of America, and the Mission Hospital Foundation.
Owner Moti Ferder and wife Idit
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THE GAME AGAINST
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WONDER WOMAN’S NEW BELT
This C4 belt is not here for advertisement. It’s here
Inside this belt is a crowd of one-hundred like-minded
because this awesome little piece of swag from the
and like-situated women ready to support each other
inaugural EQ Businesswomen’s Summit (held the first
anyway they can—74 new Instagram™ followers in two
week of January in tandem with US Equestrian’s Annual
minutes! Inside this belt is a lot of captured inspiration,
Meeting) makes me feel like a business Wonder Woman.
motivation, and dogged perseverance that we all need to
I know it’s bizarre, but when I have a day where this
push through the difficult (read “soul-sucking”) days in
magazine is eating me alive, I go put on that belt and I
the equine business world.
handle it! When I wake up exhausted and unmotivated
Somehow, this thin, thermoplastic belt holds all of that
to face the day, I put on that belt and I rise and shine. It’s
for me and probably about one-hundred other women.
Right now, as I’m pulling all-nighters to put this magazine
I think this happens because there’s a lot packed into
together, I haven’t left my home office—I could be wearing
this little belt that very few people can see. Inside this
sweatpants to grind this thing out—but I’m not because
belt is the graciousness of Jennifer Wood, who created
you can be damn sure I’m wearing my Wonder Woman
EQ Businesswomen—and gave us free super hero belts.
Introducing Charles Ancona’s “Haute Couture” From front to back, even his horse is high fashion.
www.ch arl e s anc o na. c o m NAMED USEF’S OFFICIAL SUPPLIER TO TEAM USA SHOW JUMPING, DRESSAGE, AND EVENTING Show clothes – Show gloves – jackets – t-shirts – riding pants - accessories