Page 1



EST. 1991




Rolex Kentucky

day event Preview


APRIL/MAY 2014 Volume XIII Issue 2


Photo: Janice Thompson

Severn Highlife 2003 National Champion Section A Stallion Lovely temperament, incredible mover, very athletic. An ideal cross for larger mares to produce your next champion.

Photo: Kathryn Southard

Empires Peter Pan 2007 Large Crossbreed Gelding窶認rozen Semen Available Grand Champion in Hunter Breeding and Sport Pony classes as a yearling.

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Liver Chestnut, 14.1 hh.

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Approved ASP. Sired by the well known Makuba. This special Stallion has everything for producing top ponies for today’s Sport Pony market. 2013 Highlights: Advanced/FEI Single pony Little Everglades. CDE 1st Live Oak International 2nd Reserve National Champion. Southern Pines CDE USA team member Pau, France. World pony championships. 2012 USEF Horse Of The Year combined driving single pony. 2012 First Place Kentucky Classic and winner of the USEF National single Pony Championship 2012 1st Place Southern PInes CDE Advanced Single Pony ADS Intermediate CHAMPION, Single pony 2011.

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Table of Contents




Million Dollar Baby



Publisher’s Page

The Biggest Horse Show of Them All



Product Reviews

The History of ROLEX Kentucky Three-Day Event



HC Sport

Gladius: Taking Horse Performance Art to a New Level



The Horse Connection


The Coastal Guardians



EST. 1991

APRIL/MAY 2014 VoLuME XIII IssuE 2 hoRsEcoNNEctIoN.coM






About the cover Photo by Sharon McElvain “eyesforyou” Top Quality Passionate Photography specializing in Wildlife, Landscapes, Portraits & Sports. Visit “The POKEY” San Lorenzo Galleria in New Mexico 575.835.1845 by appointment.


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ur cover girl, Ashlee Bond Clarke, sure has brought the heat to the winter show circuits this season. At HITS Thermal she won three Grand Prix finishing with a win in the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix, and then flew across country with her super horse Chela LS, to finish in fifth place in the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS Ocala. Congratulations Ashlee, on a superb showing this winter! Congratulations are also in order for Andre Thieme and Contango 3 for taking the blue ribbon and $350,000 in prize money for winning the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS Ocala to close out the winter show circuit. Thieme and Contango 3 had the only clear round out of five pairs in the jump-off. We are very excited to announce the launch of the new Horse Connection website. The new site has many exciting features including an expanded article archive, a blog section, videos, and our new division—HC RUNWAY. Launching in April, HC RUNWAY is “The playground of life for the equestrian!” It’s the place to go for the “Luxe Sportista,” to find the latest in luxury fashion, travel, leisure and sport. You’ll experience exclusive introductions to the newest cutting-edge fashions and luxury products from Europe and the U.S. with interviews, stories, and videos from the creators, the designers, the movers and shakers of the luxe life. HC Runway will provide you with all of the bits and pieces of the luxury brands that make up the equestrian lifestyle—with an exclusive “first look” as only Horse Connection can deliver. It’s the equestrian life, it’s the HC “UpLife,” and it’s all waiting for you on the HC Runway! When it comes to prestige and luxury, ROLEX is the one name that says it all. They sponsor the most prestigious horse show in North America, The ROLEX Kentucky Three Day Event, the only four-star eventing competition in the Western Hemisphere. HC has your travel guide to the ROLEX Kentucky right inside of this issue including what to do, what to look for, how to get around and how to make the most of your experience at the Kentucky Horse Park for this elite equestrian competition. Equestrians enjoy many things as part of this lifestyle that we love, including pretty much anything having to do with horses. That is why we are giving you an exclusive look, in this issue, at a new equestrian theatre experience called Gladius. Created by former vaulting superstars, Gladius is a stunning visual feast of acrobatic stunts with gorgeous horses and choreography set to dazzling displays of lighting and music. It opens its national run in Denver through April. A big THANK YOU to the producers and staff of ODYSSEO, by Cavalia “ I’m still in awe on how for an exclusive viewing for our special amazing the show was.” little ones of the HC family. The Seattle premiere of ODYSSEO was so spec —Ryan Logan tacular that it was extended multiple times. “I’m still in awe on how amazing the show was. The kids loved it! The best show I have ever seen, hands down” —Ryan Logan. We hope the show extends into other areas of the U.S. in 2014. If this must-see show graces your part of the world, do not miss it! I know I speak for everyone when I say, I’m glad the cold weather is over, for the most part. It has been a tough winter season for many in the U.S., and that is what makes spring all the more welcome. It’s time for the horses to get outside more, along with their human partners, and experience the blooming rebirth of the warm seasons. Congrats to all of the winners that showed this winter, and now it’s time to smell the roses!

Geoff Young, Publisher 12 | APRIL/MAY 2014 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE


Geoff & Valerie L. Young Editor

Geoff Young V.P. Marketing

Valerie L. Young executive Director

Sue Bury

303.619.6757 Corporate Accounts Manager

Leanne Acuff

719.330.0652 National Correspondent Account Liaison

Anna Jensen

303.570.6480 Art Director


Caleb Block Celebrity Fashion Stylist

Wayne Scot Lukas

Contributing Writers

Evalyn Bemis Kip Mistral Marc Patoile Butte Dawson Photography

Geoff Young Evalyn Bemis Sharon McElvain Advertising & Rates Please call our Corporate Office if you have questions with advertising, subscriptions or billing. 303.663.1300 or 303.668.1332 HORSECONNECTION.COM Sorry, but Horse Connection cannot assume responsibility for unsolicited materials Horse Connection © 2014, Volume XIII, Edition 2. Published 8 times a year by Horse Connection, LLC., PO Box 775, Redmond, WA 98073, and is provided to its readers free of charge. Unless otherwise noted, all photographs, artwork and ad designs printed in the Horse Connection are copyright and the sole property of HC and may not be duplicated or reprinted without express written permission from HC. Horse Connection is not responsible for typographical or production errors or the accuracy of information provided by advertisers. Readers should confirm any advertised information with advertisers. HC reserves the right to refuse any advertising. We will not knowingly accept any advertising or print any material which is offensive or in violation of the law.

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WHAT’S TRENDING Products We Love ere at HC, we think that personal style and fashion begin from the ground up. After all, form and function need a foundation and we think that these products are the perfect start to creating a fashion statement that covers you from top to bottom.


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photos by Sharon McElvain

lion Dollar Baby Ashlee Bond Clarke and Chela LS Take Home Richest Prize in Show Jumping

“This mare comes out every day wanting to win. It’s been all about finding that partnership for us and

I think we have found it.”


shley Bond Clarke, from Hidden Hills, California, put her personal stamp on the 2014 HITS Thermal circuit, starting with a win in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix in week one, following up that win with a blue ribbon in the $33,500 HITS Desert Classic Grand Prix in week two, and putting the proverbial cherry on top to close out the circuit with a victory in the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix. Ashlee Bond Clarke admits that she had to keep her nerves and her emotions in check when entering the ring for the jump-off of Sunday’s AIG $1 Million Grand Prix, presented by Lamborghini Newport Beach, at HITS Thermal. She was, however, a picture of poise and control to the crowd of 4,000 spectators that looked on as she topped a star-studded field to win the historic event with Little Valley Farms’ Chela LS. Sunday’s order was a “who’s who” of international show jumping with horse and rider accolades littering the list. The original order consisted of 39 riders who showed over a course designed by Marina Azevedo of São Paulo, Brazil. Fourteen obstacles and 17 jumping efforts made up the track, which boasted tall verticals, wide oxers and a formidable triple combination. “It still hasn’t sunk in,” she said. “This was the biggest track I have ridden on

this mare, but she comes out every day wanting to win. It’s been all about finding that partnership for us and I think we have found it.” “The course was really well-built,” said Bond Clarke. “It was big, technical and scopey, but not unfair. There were faults everywhere and that’s the mark of a great course.” A crowd favorite and East Coast challenger, Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, New York, clipped the ribbon on clear rounds and jumped Coral Reef Via Volo perfectly for owner Coral Reef Ranch. One trip later, fellow East Coast contender Todd Minikus piloted Quality Group’s Quality Girl to secure a jump-off. Six more followed their lead and set the stage for an eight-horse jump-off. Madden and Minikus both had a rail at the second-to-last fence of the shortened course—a tall vertical. East Coast hopes were not forsaken, however, as Kirsten Coe of Royal Palm Beach, Florida, clocked a clear round in 46.86 seconds with Baronez, owned by Ilan Ferder, Lovsta Stuteri and Tal Milstein. “This course really suited my horse, and my plan from the very beginning was to get a double clear and not try to ride faster than the speedsters behind me,” said Coe. “I just

wanted to put some pressure on and I did that—my horse performed great.” The next clear round didn’t come until the last two trips of the jump-off when Nayel Nassar of Santa Clara, California and Bond Clarke gave the crowd a jump-off to remember. 2013 Zoetis Million victor and West Coast favorite, Nassar jumped his own Lordan to a clear round in 45.38 seconds with just Bond Clarke to follow. She put the speed of her big-strided mare to the test and crossed the timers in 41.16 seconds—more than three seconds faster than Nassar. “Ashlee and I were joking about going one–two earlier in the week and if there’s anyone I don’t mind losing to, it’s her,” said Nassar, who has jumped Lordan throughout the HITS Desert Circuit, but gave the gelding a break before the AIG Million. “I gave him the week off and didn’t even bring him to this part of the show grounds for about ten days, hoping the new jumps and the crowd would impress him today and they certainly did.” A cross-country trip proved well worth the effort for Coe, Madden and Minikus as they took home their fair share of the prize money, rounding out the top five in third, fourth and fifth respectively. After watching two West Coast riders jump to the top in Sunday’s money, HITS president and CEO Tom Struzzieri was pleased to see their efforts at HITS Thermal pay off. “To see the leading money winner of the circuit come out and win the big class was great,” he said. “It really validates this circuit—there were some pretty heavy hitters that came here from the east, but the West Coast stood their ground and produced great sport.” Struzzieri said that the HITS Triple Crown of Show Jumping set out to do three things and it accomplished all of them. “The sport was superb, we introduced show jumping to a lot of new fans and we satisfied one of the top equine sponsors in the world—AIG. I am really proud to be a part of it,” he concluded. The AIG $1 Million Grand Prix put the final exclamation point on a very successful 2014 HITS Desert Circuit. HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014 | 21


The Winter Circuit Wrap-up

HITS Thermal

Photos by Flying Horse Photography

John French Leads the Way in $50,000 East Meets West Hunter Challenge The West Coast came out on top this year as they swept the top five spots in the $50,000 East Meets West Hunter Challenge. John French of Woodside, California, was the inevitable winner when he piloted Comex Gold to scores of 90 and 94 for amateur rider Lee Kellogg Sadrian. “Comex Gold is a great, quiet, beautiful mover and he actually goes better for Lee [Kellogg Sadrian] than he does for me,” joked French after the class. “So, my plan going into this week was to ride like Lee and her style got it done for me.” French’s overall score of 184 was a solid five points above second-place rider Hope Glynn of Penngrove, California. She and Emma Waldfogel’s King’s Peak jumped to an overall score of 179. Challengers from both HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida and HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California rotated

rounds in a “battle of the coasts” that was evaluated by two sets of judges—one set at each location. A live simulcast connected the two sets of judges watching on high definition monitors while the audience saw the events play out on the opposite coast with ringside scoreboards. Furthering the cutting-edge nature of the class, off-site spectators were able to get in on the action, thanks to a live webcast provided by Galopando TV and The class reinvented the bi-coastal concept first employed by HITS from 1999–2001 when the company

staged the industry’s first simulcast events between Florida and California. “This format is a perfect way to showcase the hunters to owners, trainers, riders and spectators alike,” said French.

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Richard Spooner Gets a Win in Week Seven Richard Spooner and Cristallo were as in sync as ever to win the $50,000 CardFlex Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, at HITS Thermal. This was the final qualifier before the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix. “We’ve been everywhere and done everything together,” said Spooner of the 16-year-old Cristallo, who has been a top mount for Spooner the past nine years. “I’m not sure where I would be without him, but it certainly wouldn’t be the winner’s circle.” Mandy Porter of Encinitas, California, jumped a high-spirited Con Capilot to an early clear round in the jump-off, posting the Great American Time to Beat at 44.72 seconds. Ashlee Bond Clarke of Hidden Hills, California, returned next and quickly stole the lead on Little Valley Farms’ Agro Star with a time of 44.56 seconds. The next clear round came from Spooner and Cristallo. Their time of 42.72 seconds seemed to be enough for the win, but Spooner was not quick to start

counting his prize money. Bond Clarke returned last with her second ride of the jump-off. “Ashlee is a brilliant competitor and she has the ability and the speed to beat anyone at any time,” said Spooner. Bond Clarke rode Little Valley Farms’ Chela LS clear in 43.44 seconds, just fractions

shy of the win. She ended in second with Chela LS and third on Agro Star. Porter and Con Capilot landed fourth, while Enrique Gonzalez of Mexico capped the top five in the irons of his own Quilebo Du Tillard. They posted a time of 45.76 seconds with four faults.

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Nayel Nassar Tops Two-Horse Jump-Off, Wins $33,500 HITS Desert Classic It all came down to the gallop in the $33,500 FEI HITS Desert Classic, presented by Zoetis, at HITS Thermal. With only two horses in the jump-off, Nayel Nassar put the speed of his nineyear-old Hanoverian gelding Lordan

to the test and bested Bliss Heers by fractions of a second. Nassar, of Santa Clara, California, represents the colors of Egypt and secured a jump-off in the HITS Desert Classic after chasing down Heers’ early clear in the first round. They would eventually be the lone two to advance. The clock indeed proved to be the trick as seven were kept from the jump-off with a single time fault. Heers went clean in the third go, while Nassar prompted a jump-off from the 19th position in the original order. In the jump-off, Heers set an immediate Great American

Time to Beat of 40.28 seconds, putting all the pressure on Nassar and Lordan. Nassar jumped the first six fences of the course, including a double combination, relatively conservatively, but left nothing to chance in the last line. From fence six, a long gallop stood between Nassar and the final jump. “When I landed, I looked at the clock and saw that I only had ten seconds to get to the other end of the ring, so I put the pedal to the metal,” he admitted. Cheers exploded from the on looking crowd as the pair’s nail-biting effort to the last fence paid off, delivering Nassar the win and Heers second. With the fastest of the time-fault rounds over the original course, Ashlee Bond Clarke of Hidden Hills, California, rode Little Valley Farms’ mare Chela LS to third. Also with one time fault apiece, Jenna Margaret Thompson of Calgary, Alberta, jumped her own Webster to fourth, while Mexico’s Enrique Gonzalez capped the top five on his own Quilebo De Tillard.

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Canada Rules Jump-Off in Saer Coulter Wins the $50,000 Strongid® C 2X™ $50,000 Purina Animal CSI-W2* Grand Prix Nutrition CSI-W2* Grand Prix When the Canadian National Anthem played at the conclusion of the $50,000 Purina Animal Nutrition CSI-W2* Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, at HITS Thermal, it was playing for more than just the winner, Elizabeth Gingras of Alberta. Gingras and the up-and-coming Bretton Chad, also of Alberta, went one–two for Canada in a three-horse jump-off and celebrated together for their home nation. “We have been riding together in Alberta for many years,” said Gingras of her history with Chad. “Obviously you always want to win, but it was awesome to see two Canadians at the top. If the roles had been reversed, I would have been a very proud second.” While humble about the results, Gingras couldn’t control her excited reaction to how her 11-year-old Hanoverian mare performed. One of only three to jump clear over Manuel Esparza’s original track, Gingras topped a complete field of 21 for her first-ever win in a World Cup qualifying class. “Her scope is unreal,” said Gingras of the mare that Emile Hendrix found for her over a year ago. “I got her as a nine-year-old, so we have really grown together and become a team. I couldn’t have asked for anything more than what she gave me today.” “This is my first season stepping up into the World Cup classes, so I am just over the moon to even be here,” said Chad, who also piloted a mare—Santa Catarina LS La Silla—to second place. “My horse was a rock star today. She is so honest and is really helping me to move up and get around these bigger courses.”

In their first grand prix of the 2014 season, Saer Coulter and Springtime kicked off their year on the highest of notes. They topped a field of 31 in the $50,000 Strongid® C 2X™ CSI-W2*, presented by Zoetis, to highlight World Cup week at HITS Thermal. The class was

a qualifier for the 2014 FEI World Cup Finals in Lyon, France this April. Coulter rode 21st in the original order and she admits it was advantageous to go late. “I was really lucky to go late in both rounds and watch a lot of the trips,” she said. Coulter returned last in the jump-off and left out a stride between the second and third fences of the course, riding it in seven steps to guide Springtime to the win. Eduardo Menezes was second and Michelle Parker third. Enrique Gonzalez finished fourth and Lucy Davis fifth, while Justin Resnik was the only contender with faults, landing him in sixth. Springtime’s career came full circle on Saturday. “He has done everything with me— from the highs, all the way to the international level,” said Coulter of Springtime. Coulter, 22, recently graduated from Stanford University and now focuses her full attention on riding. “My goal is to qualify for the World Cup Finals and we were here this week to hopefully get it done early and be able to focus on doing well in France.”

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John Pearce Battles the Flu to Win $50,000 Go Rentals Grand Prix, Presented by Zoetis With three mounts to jump around, not a single onlooker would know that John Pearce of Bermuda Dunes, California,

was battling the flu during the $50,000 Go Rentals Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, at HITS Thermal. He and Son of a Gun, owned by Forest View Farm, were one of only four pairs to jump clear against a very tight first-round time allowed of 81 seconds. Pearce first appeared on trusted partner Chianto, owned by Forest View Farm and Allison Moore, and was clear, but crossed the timers four-tenths of a second

Amateur Alec Lawler Wins $50,000 Tuff Rider/Equine Couture Grand Prix After riding in a junior/amateurowner high jumper classic earlier in the day, Alec Lawler of Atherton, California, stepped up to the big time and bested a field of 32 horse-andrider combinations in the $50,000 Tuff Rider/Equine Couture Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis. The senior earth systems major at Stanford University rides with Burt Mutch, and admits that “the goal” is to ride professionally upon his graduation. “We are here aiming for the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix and both World Cup Qualifiers while we are here in Thermal,” said Lawler. Anyone watching the event at HITS Thermal would agree that Lawler has the talent and the horses to get him to the top of the sport. He piloted two self-owned mounts in Agamemnon and Dauphin De Muze, jumping to the blue with the latter, an 11-year-old imported Belgian Warmblood gelding.


“The courses have been great all week and I was really happy with how both my horses jumped—I had two on the clock with my first, which was frustrating, but it couldn’t have worked out better for Dauphin De Muze,” said Lawler, who piloted Dauphin De Muze to the victory in the jump-off. “With eight advancing to the jumpoff, I knew I had to be quick,” Lawler said. “My biggest challenge was keeping my excitement under control—I had to remember to be careful.”

slow to pick up one time fault. He did not, however, let the clock be a problem for Son of a Gun. “Son of a Gun and I went around seven seconds under the time because I was not going to get another time fault,” said Pearce. “I may have been a little over ambitious, but that’s the competitor in me.” Pearce returned last in the jump-off and laid down a trip like no one before him. He stopped the clock at 41.15 seconds for the win. Ashlee Bond Clarke finished in second, Michelle Parker in third and Jenni McAllister in fourth. Elizabeth Gingras of Edmonton, Alberta, capped the top five in the irons of B Gingras Equestrian, Ltd.’s Floreen SFN, while Pearce and Chianto landed sixth.

The Rest of the Winners Longtime HITS sponsor, SmartPak hosted Thursday and Friday Grand Prix events throughout the winter circuit at Thermal. Claiming blue ribbons in the SmartPak Grand Prix was Josephina Nor Lantzman and Chello Z, Francie Steinwedell-Carvin riding Taunus, Kyle King aboard Quigley, Mandy Porter with Lexito, Rich Fellers and Flexible, and Eduardo Menezes aboard Coupido Mercedes. Showing style and form in the hunter ring, these hunter riders left HITS Thermal with blue ribbon horses and victories in the Devoucoux Hunter Prix. John French and Soldier, Nick Haness aboard Edgewoods’s Cilantro, Hope Glynn with Woodstock, and Jenny Karazissis with two wins riding Splendid and Undeniable.


Hits Ocala Photos by ESI

Dr. Fernando Cardenas Victorious in $100,000 Sullivan GMC Truck Grand Prix With a standing-room-only crowd in attendance at the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium, Dr. Fernando Cardenas and homebred stallion Quincy Car won the $100,000 Sullivan GMC Truck Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis. The course included a first-round time allowed of 83 seconds and 37 riders attempted to best a lengthy, technical test presented by grand prix course designer Florencio Hernandez of Mexico City, Mexico. His course consisted of 14 obstacles and 17 jumping efforts, two difficult lines both with combinations, finishing with a hard gallop to the last fence at fourteen, a big oxer. Six horseand-rider pairs made it through to the jump-off. The hopes of the five other jump-off riders faded when Cardenas entered the ring with Quincy Car. With several encouraging toptwelve finishes this circuit, Cardenas recorded one of only two doubleclear rounds of the day to capture the win in a time of 46.51 seconds. “Quincy Car is a very good horse and except for the day my child was born, I’ve never been prouder of anything,” said Cardenas, who admits that the win was not for him, but for his father, Fernando Cardenas Sr.—the breeder of Quincy Car. “It was his hard work, determination and careful breeding that produced this great stallion. This day honors him and his lifelong dedication to the sport of show jumping,” added Cardenas.

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First Time is a Charm for Darragh Kenny and Alpha VDL at HITS Ocala

Lisa Goldman and Centurion B Make it Win Number Three in $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix

With no faults and the fastest time, Darragh Kenny of Wellington, Florida, and Alpha VDL bested a large field of 51 top tier horses and riders to win the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis at HITS Ocala. The nine-year-old gelding, Alpha VDL, was purchased by Eva Castegren at the VDL Auction in West Palm Beach last March and has been shown lightly until making his grand prix debut with Kenny at HITS Ocala.

“This girl is on fire,” aptly describes Lisa Goldman and Centurion B as they beat a contentious field and jumped to the blue for their third grand prix win at HITS Ocala. The dynamic pair won two $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, and also captured the blue in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix. The day belonged to the American-bred Belgian Warmblood Centurion B, bred by the ever-proud Allyn McCracken and partnered for ten years with the now, three-time HITS Ocala 2014 winning grand prix rider Lisa Goldman. Her mother, Mary Goldman, trains Goldman. They are from Hawthorn Woods, Illinois.


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HUNTERS $40,000 International Hunter Derby (Week 5) $15,000 International Hunter Derby (Week 3) $10,000 National Hunter Derby (Week 5) 2 weeks of WCHR events plus Pony Derby, Children’s/Adult Derby

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Bigge Horse Show

Rolex Kentucky


s far as prestigious horse shows go, the RK3DE (Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event) features the absolute best riders in the world, right up there with the Olympics and

the World Equestrian Games. As the only Four-Star event in the

gest of Them All

Three-Day Event Western Hemisphere, the importance of the RK3DE cannot be underestimated, especially with the Eventing World Championships being contested at the World Equestrian Games in September. Top eventers will be looking to Rolex to prepare for the Worlds.

And in anticipation of the WEG, for the first time ever, the Rolex Kentucky ThreeDay Event Presented by Land Rover will include a team challenge when it returns to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky from April 24–27, 2014. The Dubarry of Ireland Nations Team Challenge will award $20,000 in prize money, while helping national teams prepare for the team competition at the 2014 World Equestrian Games. “Since we attract so many international competitors it makes sense to host a team competition, and with the Eventing World Championships being contested at next year’s World Equestrian Games, this is a great year to get it started,” said Darren Ripley, President of Equestrian Events, and Inc. (EEI), producer of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Teams will consist of either three or four entries. For countries with more than four competitors entered in the event, teams will be selected by each country’s chef d’équipe. If there are fewer than three individuals from a country, teams may be formed by combining entries from two countries that have not already created

The horse inspections are a great way to see these magnificent competitors up close and personal.


a team. For example, a Canadian rider cannot be added to a team of two New Zealand riders if there is already a team of Canadian riders. However, an individual Australian rider can be added to the team of two New Zealand riders to form a New Zealand/ Australian team. The winning team will be the team with the fewest penalties after adding together the final Spectators can experience the action on the cross country up close! scores of the three highest placed individuals on the team. For the vying for their share of $250,000 in prize purpose of the final team ranking only, a money as well as a shot at the $350,000 team member who fails to complete the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing which is competition will be given a score of 1,000 awarded to any rider who wins the Rolex penalties. Rosettes will be given to the Kentucky, Mitsubishi Motors Badminton top three teams and prize money will be and Land Rover Burghley Four Star Events in succession. awarded to the owners. Darren Ripley, President of Equestrian “Rolex Kentucky,” as the nation’s premier Three-Day Event is commonly Events, Inc. (EEI), producer of the Rolex known, is one of the world’s most Kentucky Three-Day Event, said, “April’s prestigious equestrian competitions and event will play a large role in determining features the world’s best horses and riders who will make the U.S. team for the

You will need an additional “grandstand ticket� to view the show jumping and dressage.

The famous picnic table jump at Rolex Kentucky.

Eventing World Championships at next summer’s World Equestrian Games. Interest is sure to be at an all-time high and we recommend that all our fans go on line and order their tickets as soon as they become available!” Several ringside hospitality packages offering a custom world-class experience are available. Featuring prime locations and hospitality amenities, these packages include the “Patron Plus” and “Patron Club” options, both of which include admission to the Kentucky Horse Park, the International Trade Fair and all four days of competition. Also included are closed-circuit televisions, dressage and stadium jumping commentary, a keepsake pin, and an official event program. Advance sale ticket packages include four-day, three-day (Fri-Sat-Sun) and single-day general admissions, as well as group sales and reserved grandstand seating. All general admission tickets include parking, admission to the Kentucky Horse Park and International Trade Fair. Reserved grandstand seating is sold separately from admission. For more information, or to purchase tickets to the 2014 Rolex Kentucky ThreeDay Event Presented by Land Rover, please visit the Rolex Kentucky website at 40 | APRIL/MAY 2014 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

Useful Tips for First Timers to the Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event


f you haven’t already planned your Rolex adventure for 2014, the time is now! Hotels near the Kentucky Horse Park are filling fast and lots are already booked! Try to stay in Georgetown, Kentucky during Rolex and other events at the Kentucky Horse Park since it is so close and provides easy access to the park.

Getting There

If you are flying into Rolex, you have your choice of two approximately close airports—Louisville, or Cincinnati, which Spectators line the cross-country course.

is considered “Northern” Kentucky. Most of the major carriers fly into either one. Flights on Rolex Kentucky weekend are going to be priced higher, so book early; and consider an early morning Monday return, as everyone wants the evening flight out on Sunday. From the Cincinnati airport, it’s just over an hour and a pretty straight shot south on good roads, for the most part. If you are traveling with friends, you’ll need a car to get back and forth from your hotel to the horse park anyhow, so the rental car costs can be shared among your group.

If you’re a first-timer, pack your GPS unit (or make sure you’ve got a GPS app on your phone), and your phone charger. They don’t provide very good maps in the rental places, but the good news is most of the folks were WEG-schooled and can give you directions to anything horse related. You also can fly into Bluegrass Airport at Lexington, but it’s a small airport for private jets without many commercial flights. They do have Delta and US Airways flights and if you are coming from cities like Atlanta, New York, or Chicago you might be able to find a flight here. It’s definitely closer to the horse park, just on the other side of Lexington, but we’ve never been able to find an affordable flight into this airport around Rolex. The Louisville Airport (SDF) has the added advantage of having a large number of hotels near the airport. If you get in really late, just stay there overnight and drive to Lexington in the morning. It’s about 78 miles, vs. 85 or so from Cincinnati.


Make sure that you purchase a general admission ticket for each day you plan on attending and a grandstand ticket for dressage and show jumping. You will need it in addition to the general admission ticket (which only gives you access to the Park) if you want to watch the dressage and show jumping. Hospitality packages that include VIP parking, hospitality tents, and other amenities are available for additional fees ranging from $675.00/person to $1875.00/person. In addition to the RK3DE, the Kentucky Reining Cup World Championship Freestyle Reining The Sponsor’s Village at the RK3DE

The Kentucky Reining Cup World Championship Freestyle Reining will be held on Saturday evening, April 26th.

will again be held on Saturday evening, April 26th and a CRI 3* Team Challenge is scheduled for Friday evening. If you pre-ordered tickets for Rolex Kentucky, they began shipping on February 1, 2014.


Pick up an official event program while you are there, it is packed with information about the riders, horses, event, vendors, and maps. Check out the Three Day Event Shop and the Trade Fair as soon as you get to the KHP. If there is something you can’t live without in the Three Day Event Shop, buy it when you get there because they tend to

sell out of certain things and then have big sales on Sunday for the remaining items. Make sure you check out all the vendors in the Trade Fair (covered arena) and sponsor tents along the way. There are great sales at Rolex and you can find almost anything that you need (or don’t need, but really, really, really want). Many companies will have sponsored riders at their display during scheduled times and it is a great way to get an autograph, picture with them, or just wish them luck. Keep your eyes peeled, you never know who you will see wandering about in the Trade Fair and Midways.

Competition Information

Schedules, official order of go, and official standings are available at the Secretary’s Tent and there is generally a large “leaderboard” across from the Secretary’s Tent. Also at the secretary’s tent, find out when organized course walks are taking place. There are several on Thursday and Friday. Unlike at some European events, course walks at Rolex Kentucky are free and no sign up is necessary. They last about two hours. A very popular walk is with eventing legend Jimmy Wofford, which normally takes place on Friday after dressage. For a complete schedule of events, ticket and visitor info, please visit


The History of Rolex

Kentucky Three-Day Event


n 1974, Bruce Davidson and the United States Equestrian Team won individual and team gold at the World Championships held in Burghley, England. This gave the United States the right to hold the next World Championships four years later, in 1978. The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky was due to open around the same time, and plans were made to hold the World Championships there. Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI) was formed as a nonprofit organization to help plan the competition and raise public awareness. The first horse trials at the Kentucky Horse Park were held in 1976. In 1977, the National Pony Club Rally and the North American Junior Three-Day Event Championships were also held there. The 1978 event had more than 170,000 spectators and added more than $4 million to the local economy. The event was broadcast worldwide, as well as nationally on CBS. The success of the World Championships helped to convince the EEU to continue the event annually. Today, the event is broadcast worldwide in 18 languages.

The iconic statue of Bruce Davidson on Eagle Lion at the Kentucky Horse Park. Bruce was the US Eventing Association’s Rider of the Year first in 1975 and then for 14 consecutive years, 1982–1995. HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014 | 43

Might Tango was found by Robert Tindle as a mount for Bruce Davidson. The gelding had raced as a two-year-old in California before he began his eventing career. As a relatively inexperienced eventing horse, Might Tango took Davidson to a win at the 1978 World Championships in Lexington, earning the individual gold medal and team bronze at the young age of seven. Might Tango lived to the age of 24, and is now buried at Davidson’s Chesterland Farm in Unionville, PA.

Although the event began as an advanced three-day, and later included open intermediate and preliminary competitions, today it only holds the highest level: the CCI****. Intermediatelevel competition was held in 1979

and from 1985–1981. An Advanced-level CCI was held from 1980-1999 up to the *** level, with Advanced Horse Trials (non-CCI) also held from 1992-1996. The CCI**** was begun in 1998, and has been held annually since. Since 2000, the CCI**** is the only competition held during this time and is the only four-star event in the Western Hemisphere. Rolex Kentucky had also hoped to continue the classic format, despite the other major events around the world switching to the short format. Originally, the plan was to alternate years, offering the short format in even-numbered years as preparation for the Olympic games or the World Championship, while running the classic

format in odd-numbered years. However, in 2006 it was announced that, due to lack of funds and interest from upper level riders, the event would only offer the short format. Therefore, all competition run before 2005 (excluding the 2004 Modified division) was run “classic format,” and the 2006 event onward would be run in the “short format.” The CCI**** competition was first suggested in 1994 by Denny Emerson, who believed The United States had enough competitors at this high level to warrant the development of a four star. Previously, American riders trained in England when they were preparing for international competition, as the country had the only two annual CCI**** at that time: Badminton and Burghley. The USET began making plans in 1996, and held the country’s first and the world’s third annual four-star competition at the Kentucky Horse Park in 1998.

Winsome Adante, aka “Dan,” is the most decorated horse in the history of the sport of Eventing.

Kimberly Severson and Winsome Adante have won three Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Championships, the most by any horse and rider in the history of the event. Photo by Evalyn Bemis.


he winningest rider at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is Kimberly Severson, born August 22, 1973 in Tucson, Arizona. She is a highly successful international equestrian who took several years of dressage lessons before training in eventing, beginning with a background in Pony Club. Kimberly’s well-known mount is the English Thoroughbred gelding Winsome Adante (aka “Dan”) owned by Linda Wachtmeister and Plain Dealing Farm. The pair won the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event three times, a feat that has been unmatched to this day. Dan was retired in a ceremony at Rolex in 2008. Kimberly currently lives in Keene, Virginia.

Bruce Davidson has competed at the prestigious Badminton CCI**** seven times and in 1995 he rode Eagle Lion to become the first American to win the event. HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014 | 45

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Taking Horse Performance Art to a New Level


elcome to the world that is

Gladius—a planet within

itself as a higher entity. Conscious, alive, and supreme, Gladius has been on the path of enlightenment for tens of thousands of years, yet nothing comes easy, especially the enlightenment of an entire planet. Rough and calloused are the Lokidian gods of Gladius, who are the defenders of combat, strength, and change. Their lighter counterpart gods, the Eluminits, are the guardians of love, law, and virtue. It is in awe that Gladius survives on the edge of existence. After all, one does not understand light without dark and vice versa. It is this edge that makes all things possible.

From Left: Erik Martonovich, Nicole Czyzewski, Monnya Silver, Alethea Shelton, and Lisa Varmbo Martonovich. Photo by Felix GP Photography

Laura Amandis with her Andalusian stallion, Acierto.


ig Horse Productions’ newest creation, Gladius, features original acts that have never been seen before, new twists in flying aerialist displays, worldclass vaulting stunts, the art of Roman riding and theatrical Liberty performances. This is an equestrian performance show you will not want to miss! Co-producer and director, Erik Martonovich, originally from Golden, Colorado, was born into an equestrian family known as the “Golden Gate Vaulters.” Representing the U.S. in several World Equestrian Games, Martonovich has also performed with Cavalia and now presents his latest production from Las Vegas, Gladius, which opened in Denver and runs through April 20th, 2014. This grass-roots production has been financed by the performers themselves through devotion and many long nights of hard work, along with a few generous private donations and a Kickstarter campaign. Stars of the show include Erik Martonovich, Lisa Varmbo Martonovich, Alethea Shelton, Nicole Czesenski and Laura Amandis. Martonovich, Shelton and Czyzewski grew up in Colorado, and Varmbo Martonovich is a Norwegian native. With original music by Kevin Curry, Gladius will take you into a magical world accompanied by 15 performers and 20 horses, including several draft horses 18.2 hands tall. The powerful music is accentuated by the pounding of giant hooves while spinning aerialists dangle and dance from mere strings over the galloping steeds. Beautiful young ladies control the great horses with voice and delicate rein as they dangerously leap and twirl on the

Top: Alethea Shelton and Jerome Schwab perform an aerial straps duet after being lifted off an Andalusian gelding in the act Capture, creating a love story. Bottom: Rearing flawlessly, the Andalusian stallion Acierto is one of the stars of the show. HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014 | 57

After the show, everyone gets to meet the 18-hand-tall stars of the evening.

Laura Amandis and her Andalusian stallion Acierto, performing the Spanish walk during the Liberty act.

Gladius performers hold 24 national titles in two countries. Lisa Varmbo Martonovich and Erik Martonovich have represented Norway and the USA at the World Equestrian Games on six occasions.

Lisa Varmbo Martonovich, Norwegian gold medalist in vaulting, earned her first gold medal when she was only 15 years old, and was one of the pioneers who brought attention to the sport in her country. Lisa has represented Norway in the WEG several times and left her homeland to perform with Big Horse Productions in 2010.

Aerialist Michelle McGlone, also in silks, doing a hip key spin during her solo aerial piece in Bellator, the final act of the show, which features the characters from all tribes coming together.

horses’ broad backs, drawing gasps from the crowd. The wide-eyed audience’s senses are heightened with an adrenaline rush at the spectacle of this demonstration of superb horsemanship skills.


ot just a performing artist, Laura Amandis is also the head trainer of the equestrian production, and is known for her devoted Liberty performances with her stallion Acierto. Amandis, a Chicago native, has starred in numerous international equestrian exhibitions featuring her performing Andalusians. She was also chosen to be Ambassador of the Andalusian breed. Amandis and Acierto will steal hearts with their breathtaking High School Dressage and Garrocha acts. The blood, sweat and tears that have gone into creating this show are what 60 | APRIL/MAY 2014 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

“ Our horses mean everything to us! They are also our teachers and we have gained so much from each and every one of our equine family members.” —Erik Martonovich make it such a riveting performance. Big Horse Productions’ goal in the 2014 tour is to showcase their equestrian performance art to the country, while offering an affordable experience that all families can enjoy. As a thank you to each community Gladius touches, they also wish to give back by offering “Hoofprints,” their unique program designed to give back to at-risk youth in each city through horses and movement. “Hoofprints” is designed to inspire underprivileged children to follow their dreams and to foster self-confidence. In this setting, children have the

opportunity to try something new, like equestrian vaulting or aerial circus arts. BHP’s performers hope to change the lives of children through equestrian art by holding a “Hoofprints” session in every city they perform. For more information contact “Hoofprints” coordinator Monnya Silver at Gladius will perform every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until April 20th in the Westenaires Arena at the Jefferson County, Colorado, Fairgrounds. Tickets start at $15. For more information about additional performances in 2014, visit

Sparky, the miniature gelding is also one of the performers of Gladius. A generous donor built him a custom-made stall door so he can see the action during his travels.

Claire Beer, an aerialist from Detroit, Michigan, performs in Bellator.

Erik Martonovich Roman-rides a four-up team of Belgian draft horses while vaulters Nicole Czyzewski (top), Lisa Varmbo Martonovich (left), and Alethea Shelton (right) form a pyramid on the front team of horses in Bellator. HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014 | 61

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The Coastal Guardians HC presents another fascinating story about our equestrian history.


t never ceases to amaze how much the horse has given in service to this country and its citizens. We all know the sacrifice that horses, dogs, and mules made in the wars here and overseas, especially World War I when the Army relied on horses long before tanks and trucks became the means for which soldiers and equipment were transferred to and from the field. In fact, horses would have never had to answer the call of duty after World War I if not for the Japanese attack on Pearl

Harbor during World War II. And unbelievably, it was not the Army that would use these horses but the Coast Guard!

This painting depicts a Coast Guard Mounted Beach Patrol base during WWII. The Coast Guard provided manpower, horsepower and “man’s best friend” to guard the coasts of the United States during WWII from enemy invasion. Painting by James Dyekman.

The U.S. Coast Guard used more horses than any other branch of the U.S. Military during World War II.


he United States, following the initial shock of the attack on Pearl Harbor, had to now fight a full-scale war with the Germans across the Atlantic to the east and the Japanese to the west. The various branches of the military were, for the most part, ill equipped and unprepared for such a sudden undertaking and the military was painfully aware that there was a couple of thousand miles of virtually unprotected and unpatrolled United States coastline, susceptible to landing parties or penetration by aircraft. For the most part, any kind of large invasion from the Japanese wasn’t expected, but sabotage and the mere presence of the enemy on the shores of the United States could easily cause panic and a loss of morale for the population at large. Radar still hadn’t been fully developed, necessitating the need for organized shore patrols and lookouts on the East, Southern and West Coasts. This job fell to the Coast Guard, the smallest branch of the military. Beach patrols were normally done on foot, going back as early as 1871, when the Life-Saving Service, a predecessor of the

modern Coast Guard, used foot patrols to watch the coastlines for ships in distress. The service did use a few horses to haul boats from storage sheds to rescue crews from ships run aground.


Sailors on Horseback

he U. S. Coast Guard Beach Patrol protected the continental borders of America from enemy invasion starting in June 1942. Faced with thousands and thousands of miles of coastline (much of it rugged, especially on the West Coast) the need for horses and dogs was apparent. Using horses would allow the patrols to cover far more territory faster and more easily than men on foot, and dogs always made the best sentries. Horses were immediately authorized for use by the beach patrol and within weeks, orders for 3,222 horses were fulfilled by the Army Remount Service along with all the tack required. You can imagine the apprehension and confusion of many Coast Guard cadets who had visions of sailing the seas, until asked to gallop the beaches.

A call quickly went out for volunteers with equestrian experience and a quirky mix of people responded. Polo players, cowboys, former sheriffs, horse trainers, Army Reserve cavalrymen, jockeys, farm boys, rodeo riders and stunt men applied. Training for the mounted patrols took place at Elkins Park Training Station in Pennsylvania, and at Hilton Head, S.C., where dog training schools already existed. The mounted units soon became the largest segment of the entire beach patrol, with about 3,000 horses assigned to the Coast Guard. The beach patrols gained importance as security forces with three basic functions: to look for and report on any suspicious vessels operating in the area; to report and prevent attempts of landings by the enemy; and to prevent communication between persons on shore and the enemy at sea. “While it was not their mission to repel an invasion from the sea, the Coast Guard beach patrols performed a vital function insofar as the morale of the America people was concerned,” said Chris Havern, a Coast Guard historian. “The beach patrols provided a presence that reassured the American home front that they were being protected by a vigilant armed force.” The mounted patrols worked exceedingly well on the beaches in Florida and New York, discovering two Nazi saboteur teams put ashore by German U-boats in 1942. The vantage point atop


he beach patrols provided a presence that reassured the American home front that they were being protected by a vigilant armed force.”

—Chris Havern, coast guard historian

Two guardsmen and their horses patrol the coast at Long Beach, Washington. Photo by Charles Fitzpatrick 66 | APRIL/MAY 2014 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

Members of the Mounted Beach Patrol team up with their canine companions to show off the results of their training. The combined superior senses of the horses and dogs could alert the Coast Guardsmen to unseen persons in the dark or behind obstacles. Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard.

Members of the Coast Guard’s Mounted Beach Patrol cross an inlet during their patrol on the West Coast. The use of horses allowed Coast Guard personnel to cover wide stretches of beach more quickly than on foot. Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard. HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014 | 67

a horse permitted a good view across large and crowded areas such as the midAtlantic beaches. The horse patrols also worked well on the Texas and Oregon coasts but not all beaches were suitable for mounted patrols. New England beaches were deemed inhospitable in the winter months and some beach areas around the country had insufficient water and food for the horses.


A Soldier’s Best Friend

n the areas that weren’t accessible by horses the patrols on foot continued, often with dogs. These were trained attack dogs that could only be handled by one man and were not to be fooled with by anyone else. The majority of these dogs were German shepherds. The use of dogs, with their sensitivities to their environment, added to the patrol’s ability to detect persons or situations that might not be immediately observed by the patrolmen. At Oregon Inlet, N.C., a German shepherd named Nora found an unconscious Coast Guardsman in an isolated part of the beach. The 18-yearold serviceman had passed out while

These members of the Coast Guard Beach Patrol worked the beaches in the New Jersey area in all kinds of weather. Left to right: Seamen first class C. R. Johnson, Jesse Willis, Joseph Washington, and Frank Garcia. Photo courtesy of National Archives.


on patrol and would have succumbed to hypothermia during the night if Nora hadn’t found him. A few months earlier, the patrol had purchased Nora for 50 cents from a local family. Nora went on to receive the bronze John P. Haines medal at the 78th annual meeting of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York City.


A Duty Fulfilled

y 1944, the threat of enemy landings on U.S. shorelines began to wane and the mounted beach patrol started to wrap up its two-year run. The horses were sold at various prices at public auction in several coastal areas. The highest price received for any of the horses was at a sale in Tillamook, Oregon where 49 mounts brought an average of $117 each. The dogs were mostly kept around and used for sentry duty by the Coast Guard. The work of beach patrols—either on foot or on horseback—could be hard but they were a strong group of men, highly motivated to do their part for the war effort. A declassified report about the

beach patrol from 1945 provides a glimpse into the morale of these men: “Despite the many difficulties encountered and overcome, the morale of the men was universally high. Where horses and dogs were used, consideration of the animals was often more important than the comfort of the men. Upon them, as much as upon the welfare of the handlers, depended the sustained vigilance of the patrols. The methodical tramp tramp of weary feet plodding their beats back and forth, amid fair weather and foul, stood as a constant reminder that the military duties on the home front are often as essential to victory as the more exciting activities to the far-flung battle line.” The Coast Guard never again used mounted patrols, and this fascinating piece of our equestrian history has remained largely unknown and forgotten. If you were walking on a U.S. beach over seventy years ago, there is a good chance that you would have come across a mounted Coast Guardsman, galloping up and down the beaches on the one animal that has served man more than any other on the planet—the horse.

Nora the German shepherd receives the bronze John P. Haines medal at the 78th annual meeting of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York City. Coast Guardsman Evans E. Mitchell, right, fell unconscious while patrolling an isolated beach area near Oregon Inlet, N.C. Nora found Mitchell and alerted other Coast Guardsmen, saving Mitchell from dying from exposure on the cold beach. A few months earlier, service members had purchased Nora from a local family for 50 cents. Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard.

Riders from the Mounted Beach Patrol and Dog Training Center, at Hilton Head, S.C gallop across the beach. Jockeys, rodeo riders, polo players and stuntmen were among the skilled riders who responded to the Coast Guard’s call for experienced equestrians to create the Mounted Beach Patrol. Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard.


The Horse Connection

Colombians love their coffee, conversation, and horses. This gentleman rode his beautiful Colombian Paso to meet friends on the plaza in Jardin, Colombia for a rich cup of espresso. We saw these two every day we were there. His horse waited patiently, often without so much as this thin rope attached. Photo by Evalyn Bemis

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