Page 1

Launch Edition July 2009

Launch Edition 2009

William Shatner Exclusive Interview – Page 18

Celebrating 100 Years of the Nations Cup – Page 20

The Other Side of John Whitaker – Page 28

meredith michaels-beerbaum Equestrian. Champion. History maker. Unquestionably, an inspiration. A reign of achievement decorated in gold, silver and bronze. Clears obstacles with a confidence and grace seldom seen. And has the titles to prove it.




Note from the FEI President

Dear friends, This new magazine is an opportunity for us at the FEI to showcase the many faces of horsesport and the dedication and passion that place the extended FEI Family at the root of awe inspiring endeavours. It is equally important that we confront the issues facing the sport in a transparent and effective manner and report back to you on the measures being taken to address them. I have every faith that this new quarterly magazine will be just the platform to do this as well. It’s a new page for the FEI and one which I am sure will develop over the years to come. I sincerely hope you will enjoy this first issue of FEI FOCUS and look forward to your feedback. Alex McLin FEI Secretary General

A photo by Tim Flach graces the front cover of the first FEI Focus. You will also find another striking image of John Whitaker in "The Other Side of..." from his Equus collection.


Your Vote Counts. Nominate and celebrate the heroes of our sport.

It is a great pleasure to introduce to you to the first issue of FEI FOCUS, a dynamic new publication to celebrate and bring together the FEI Family. This new publication, effectively replacing the Bulletin, which I understand had not received a ‘makeover’ since 1930, is designed to reinvigorate our information delivery to you whilst retaining and indeed enhancing the quality of that information. Communication is such a key element for a global organisation and sport such as ours and I am confident that this new tool, with a fresh and unique FOCUS on the sport and all its main actors, will enhance the all important area of ‘internal communications’ for our Federation in both an instructive and interesting format. HRH Princess Haya FEI President


Table of Contents

08 Through the Looking Glass

Impressum – July 2009 Circulation 3000 Frequency Quarterly Editor in Chief Olivia Robinson Gordon Design /Art Printing SRO Kundig, Geneva

34 Memory Lane

26 Globetrotter

Photos by Dirk Caremans

14 One Day… Portraits of the next generation

18 Why the Long Face?

History of the FEI Bulletin

36 Baguales

28 The Other Side of…

41 A Life in a Day


42 Postcard from Germany Interview with Soenke Lauterbach

Ask where, not just what...

46 The Road to 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

Martin Atock

Interview with William Shatner

FEI – Fédération Equestre Internationale Olivia Robinson Gordon Avenue de Rumine 37, CH-1005 Lausanne T +41 21 310 47 47, F +41 21 310 47 60

44 Alltech Tips

The wild horses of «Torres del Paine»

John Whitaker

Contact /Advertising

20 100 Years of the Nations Cup An historic celebration






Through the Looking Glass

Dirk Caremans

© Dirk Caremans

The works featured in this first edition of Through the Looking Glass are by Dirk Caremans, a self-made Belgian photographer and equestrian enthusiast, who has circumnavigated the world many times capturing some of the finest equestrian moments in history. Dirk’s passion for photography began at an early age taking photos at seven and experimenting in the household darkroom, in the footsteps of his father, an astute amateur photographer. Horses became a central theme some years later, and now are integral to both his career and life, Dirk turned into a professional photographer after many years of using all his holiday time and weekends to attend events. He has since covered all the FEI World Equestrian Games, the past five Olympic editions, and along the way visited most, if not all, of the prestigious equestrian venues doted around the world. His ambition, as he is now also breeding horses, would be to attend and photograph his very own horses competing on the world stage. To find out where he’s been and what he’s up to, take a stroll or a wander through his very comprehensive photo database, over 1 000 000 photos from the past 20 years –



Through the Looking Glass


Dirk Caremans


Through the Looking Glass


Dirk Caremans


One Day…

Portraits of the next generation

Javier Berganza (Mexico) has been riding since the age of four. Now twenty he has decided to devote his life and career to horses, a similar path to that of his father and grandfather.

Having triumphed over adversity following a riding accident that resulted in paraplegia in 2002, Grace Bowman went on to represent Australia at the age of just 16 at the 2007 FEI World Championships in Hartpury and in 2008 at the Paralympic Games in Hong Kong. Who is your role model ? My parents. In competition, is it all about winning ? Not at all, it’s about doing my best and enjoying the ride. Who is your biggest fan ? My dad, he is with me whenever I compete. Complete this sentence : One day I would like to… win a gold medal !

« We always go out to celebrate after a competition even if we didn’t win »

What are your hobbies ? Study and go out with my friends, basically everything a normal 18 year old likes to do. If you were on a deserted island what would you like to have with you ? Friends, a boat and food !

Who is your role model ? My grandfather, he is the kind of man I would like to be one day.

What are your aims in terms of a career ? I’m in my 1st year of psychology at university. I love it, it’s a complete change for me, I moved out of my parents house and am now living in a studio with some friends, it is all very exciting.

In competition, is it all about winning ? It’s very important, especially now that I have decided to make riding my life I take it a little more seriously, although I always have fun while doing it. Who is your biggest fan ? My two little brothers that go with me to every competition to cheer me on. And, of course, my mother. Complete the sentence : One day I would like to… represent Mexico in the Olympics. If you were stuck on a deserted Island, what would you like to have with you ? Water to drink, food to eat and a friend (out of the 700 he has on Facebook !) How do you feel after winning ? It’s one of the best feelings in the world, and I can’t really describe it, it doesn’t matter what competition I have won, just knowing that all the hard work has paid off is the best. 14

What is t he craziest thing you have ever done ? Going on a gigantic sling shot !!! Do you have a good relationship with your teammates ? I have been with them for 3 years, we are very united and very good friends on and off the track, that friendship gives us an extra boost when we compete, we always go out to celebrate after a competition even if we didn’t win. How do you imagine your life will be in the future ? I want to be an excellent professional, a successful rider, coach and businessman, to be a true horseman in and out of the arena. Complete the sentence… In the future I would like the sport to be… my life, everything for me, it already is but I want to keep it that way.

How do you feel after winning ? Always good, you feel that all the hard work you put into it has really paid off.

« In the future I would like the sport to be... more open minded »

Do you do something for good luck ? Yes, I always wear my lucky necklace, especially when I travel, and when I’m competing I carry a horse shoe in my pocket. How do you imagine your life will be in the future ? I hope to get married and have kids, keep the horses in my life, go to more Paralympics, but also develop my carrier as a sports psychologist. Complete the sentence… in the future I would like the sport to be… more open minded. 15

© Daryl Weisser

Why the Long Face ?

For the past 19 years, William Shatner has spearheaded the Hollywood Charity Horse Show (HCHS) to raise money for a worthy children’s charity. Every Spring, HCHS brings together world-class reining horses and riders in breathtaking slides and spins followed by a much anticipated auction and music show with world renowned artists. For more information visit

William Shatner, the horseman He’s been known to dabble in interplanetary affairs with shape shifting aliens while steering the USS Enterprise into warp drive as Captain James T. Kirk; on the beat as the tough, no-nonsense veteran police sergeant in T.J Hooker; and more recently as the senior and founding partner of Crane, Poole & Schmidt, Denny Crane in Boston Legal.

What is it about the horse that makes you a horse lover? Their beauty, strength and grace. There is something kindred to a spiritual quality, that takes time to get to but once you are there it’s everything.

purists will be aghast but that’s what my body is most comfortable in!

Your first riding experience – was it bliss or terror ? It was blissful terror ! I got on a horse – a rental horse – and galloped off in a circle and had no idea what I was doing but as a devotee of adrenaline it was right up my alley.

Have you ever competed in an equestrian event (at any level) or thought about how you could get involved? I compete in World Championships all the time in the reining discipline and I am up there knocking on the door all the time in the classes that I am in. I have some wonderful horses and a great trainer.

‘Honestly I have seen miracles,

horses make miracles’

A double Emmy, Golden Globe and Saturn Award winning actor and novelist, William Shatner, 78, is not only an avid fan of life, but also of horses.

Do you think anyone can ride? Anybody can sit on a horse but to be a horseman takes training and especially empathy. Is there a unique trait you find in horses that you don’t find in people? Horses are not bad indigenously, they may be resentful, they may be recalcitrant, they may be upset by things that are asked of them that are not natural but inherently they’re not evil. I wish I could say the same thing about humans. What would you miss most if you could no longer go riding? A good part of my life would end. What does your usual riding outfit consist of? I prefer to wear light clothes. I find that if I am wearing jeans they’ll come up to my knees and my legs are bare. On the other hand if I have jodhpurs – because I ride show horses as well – they are kind of slick. Chaps are too heavy and warm so really I am most comfortable in sweat pants and tennis shoes. I know the


What’s your favourite part of a horse ? I like the ear… They talk and we have conversations…


Where in the world would you most like to ride? into the sunset where ever that may be... If you could spend one afternoon riding with a famous person (past or present) who would it be and why? I would like to ride with Alexander The Great and have a five-gated Saddlebred beneath me and see what he could do against Bucephalus. How much of a difference do you think horses, being around horses, can make to children’s lives? It can have a profound effect on children with disability. Honestly I have seen miracles – horses make miracles. The speechless talk, the injured walk… Wow what a sentence but I have seen it and it’s true. Back in the 1980s I watched an exhibition by children who were so severely handicapped that some of them could not hold their head up, yet there they were going through intricate exercises on the back of a horse. You can’t watch these kids without knowing you have to help. In 1990 came the birth of the first Hollywood Charity Horse Show, which is still going strong 19 years later !


100 Years of the Nations Cup

The FEI Nations Cup Celebrates

a Century of Sporting History,

This year, one of the jewels in the crown of the FEI, the Nations Cup celebrates 100 Years and the beginning of a new partnership with Meydan, the name behind the biggest sporting development in the world, the iconic Meydan Racecourse. As one would imagine, there have been some alterations to the form over these past 100 years, however as time has shown, the honour and distinction of representing one’s country in the battle for team supremacy has lost none of its edge.

The FEI comes into being. The International Olympic Committee had after the rather sobering experience of the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp (as compared to the glory of 1912 in Stockholm) invited all Olympic sports which were not organised internationally as yet, to a three day meeting in Lausanne from 28 –30 May 1921. Equestrian sport was among those invited and ten countries sent delegates. At the end of the three days, the Equestrian Federations of France, USA, Sweden and Japan decided on the formation of an International Equestrian Federation, to be formally confirmed at a first Congress in November of that year.

1909 It was in 1909 that the indoor London Olympia and outdoor San Sebastian shows first hosted military team jumping competitions. Six teams with three riders each competed in the first round in Olympia in June – it was a tough course – there were no clears and the winning French team, including 1912 Olympic champion Jean Cariou, accumulated 20.5 penalty points. The Italians were second; among them Giorgio Trissino who had, nine years before, placed second in two of the three competitions of the first “ Olympic Equestrian Games ” of 1900, riding horses of Federico Caprilli. The British, led by the legendary Geoffrey Brooke, were third, ahead of Canada, Belgium and Argentina. In San Sebastian, on 17 September, seven teams of five riders competed with the Italian powerhouse of Amalfi, Bianchetti, Antonelli, Bulla and Capece-Zurlo winning with 18 points against 32 for the home team and 34 for Argentina. For San Sebastian this was the first and last team competition, while for Olympia it marked the beginning of a new era.


The Italian team in San Sebastien (ESP) in 1909, one of two pioneer shows to host a Nations Cup that year. Standing: Bolla, Natoli, Jappi, Starita. Sitting : Antonelli, Bianchetti, Amalfi, Agazolli.

1911 In

1911 the team competition concept had arrived. Rome, Turin, Brussels, London and, causing quite the sensation, Madison Square Garden in New York on 22 November 1911, were all hosting team competitions. The success of this new trend was clearly confirmed when the Dutch team returned to one of the biggest victory parades ever seen in the Netherlands following their win in New York.

1930 The FEI established the first Nations Cup Calendar in 1930, consisting of 14 shows: Berlin, Aachen, Nice, Rome, Brussels, Lisbon,

Warsaw, London, Lucerne, Geneva, Dublin, Boston, New York and Toronto. The thirties became the battle of the Army teams, with teams such as the French and the Italians, existing since the turn of the century, and newcomers such as Ireland and Germany, created in the late twenties. The duel in the thirties was between Germany and Ireland. Overall from 1931 – 1938 / 1939, Germany had 29 victories for Irelands’ 22. But for Ireland, this was quite a success when you consider the means and breeding programmes at the disposal of the German teams. After World War II, some shows initially struggled to get back on their feet, but soon enough the circuit was active again and increasing in size and scope with anywhere from twelve and sixteen shows annually.

1920 With the outbreak of the war, competition was interrupted until Olympia took the lead to host the only team competition in 1920. The Swedish team, which included 53 year old Clarence Von Rosen the man who was instrumental in bringing equestrian sport into the Olympics in 1912, took the honours that year. All the participants at the Nations Cup competition in Geneva, Switzerland in 1929.



100 Years of the Nations Cup

Spirited Competition,

Iconic Venues, Legends & Heroes,

1965 At the FEI General Assembly in December 1964 in Brussels the newly elected President, the Duke of Edinburgh, suggested the creation of a series based on the results of the Nations Cups held throughout the year. He offered a trophy, portraying his wife, Queen Elizabeth II on horse-back. This series, entitled the President Cup was run from 1965 to 1984.


From 1985 to 1986 the Nations Cup Series became the Prince Phillip Trophy. The first title sponsorship was signed with Gucci and for the next three years, the series would be known as the Gucci Trophy. Seventeen Nations Cups were held annually for these three years, with France winning in both 1987 and 1988 – handing the Gucci Trophy over to Great Britain in 1989.


In the Autumn of 1995, the Korean industrial conglomerate Samsung expressed their desire for a global sponsorship, having been for the past nine years the faithful sponsor of the two development series in Jumping and Dressage. The FEI proposed the sponsorship of the Nations Cup Series and by 11 May 1997, La Baule (FRA) was hosting the first leg of the Nations Cup for the Samsung Series.

The Mexican Army team at an event in North America in 1962 : Zatarain, Barcelo, Uriza, Hermida, Cervantes.



100 Years of the Nations Cup

Pride & Passion ... 2003

When in 2003, the Samsung Super League with FEI series arrived on the international scene, few could have imagined the effect it would have on the sport. The Nations Cup had been around for nearly one hundred years, and the new format, with its relegation /promotion system based around having the top teams competing at the top venues entirely revitalised and reenergised the series, gripping the imagination and enthusiasm of riders, organisers and the public alike.

2009 marks a fresh start for the Nations Cup with the 100 Year Celebrations and the advent of new sponsor, the Dubai-based development group Meydan. Some exciting changes such as increasing the number of participating teams from eight to ten and the relegation/promotion of two and not one nation at the end of the season will have the added benefit of allowing new groups of nations from far-flung parts of the world to flex their muscles and raise their game. Looking back, one notices that it is the very changes, alterations and in effect, ability to innovate that have made the Nations Cup what it is today and testify to its enduring success and appeal.

Kevin Staut (FRA) with Le Prestige St Lois seeking a French win at the Piazza di Sienna in May of 2009. They came second, behind a solid US performance led by Chef d’Equipe George Morris, member of the first winning USA team in Rome back in 1959.


Meydan arrives at a timely moment in the history of the FEI Nations Cup, with every indication that the series has not only earned but confirmed its place amongst the world’s elite sporting tournaments.



Check out for live broadcasts

Major Events & Championships this summer

A group of 9 and 10-year-old girls from Scott County are spreading the word about the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games to kids around the state, country and overseas. Their presentation “A Horse by any Other Name” led them to win the regional contest of the Kentucky Student Technology Leadership Program and then the state competition. On June 28, they headed to Washington, to show off their presentation with elementary school winners from every other state in the country. They also plan to broadcast live from the Games as they take place. “More people need to find out about this, and if they can’t come here, then we have to bring it to them,” said Ivy O’Shaughnessy, a fifth-grader peeking out under a black velvet helmet.

Intended as an exploration of the species in its own right Equus celebrates the animal whose history is so powerfully linked to our own. From exquisite Arabians in the Royal Yards of the United Arab Emirates to Icelandic horses in their glacial habitat; from the soulful gaze of a single horse’s lash-lined eye to the Other Side of John Whitaker (see page 28), Tim Flach’s first book “Equus” provides a unique FOCUS on the physical dynamics and spirit of the horse.

In the next issue of FEI FOCUS

We catch up with Ezra Cooley, a 29 year old cowboy from Chico, California, who set out in 2006 to ride his horses around the world to help raise money for children’s charities. His travels have taken him around the US, Australia, New Zealand – and by the time we meet, he should be somewhere in Europe…

Exclusive interviews and behind the scenes reports from the major Championships taking place this summer - with a whole new FOCUS on Youth as the FEI Year of Youth gets underway in August.

London pledges to have a bike share scheme in place for London 2012, with a plan to start off with 6000 bikes at 400 different docking stations by 2010. It’s estimated that an initial 6000 bikes would prompt around 40000 extra daily cycle trips in central London by 2010…


All the thrills from the 100th anniversary edition of the Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ series as two countries face relegation from the top league to be replaced by two new emerging nations for the 2010 season.

30 June – 5 July

Meydan FEI Nations Cup™

Aachen (GER)

2 – 7 July

Central Asian Championships (Jumping)

Astana (KAZ)

2 – 7 July

FEI European Jumping Championships for Juniors and Young riders

16 – 19 July

Meydan FEI Nations Cup™

16 – 19 July

HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing

22 – 26 July

NAJYR (Dressage, Jumping, Eventing & Reining)

23 – 26 July

Meydan FEI Nations Cup™

23 – 26 July

HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing

24 – 26 July

FEI European Jumping Championships for Children

29 July – 2 August

FEI European Vaulting Championships for Seniors and Juniors

29 July – 3 August

FEI European Pony Championships (Eventing, Dressage & Jumping)

4 – 9 August

FEI European Dressage Championships for Juniors and Young Riders

5 – 9 August

Meydan FEI Nations Cup™

7 – 9 August

HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing

13 – 16 August

FEI World Pony Driving Championships

18 – 23 August

FEI World Driving Pairs Championship

20 – 24 August

FEI European Para-Equestrian Dressage Championships

21 – 23 August

Balkan Dressage Championships Children, Juniors and Seniors

21 – 23 August

HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing FINAL

25 – 30 August

Alltech FEI European Dressage & Jumping Championships

Windsor (GBR)

3 – 6 September

HSBC FEI Classics

Burghley (GBR)

Hoofdorp (NED) Falsterbo (SWE) Minsk, Ratomka (BLR) Lexington KY (USA) Hickstead (GBR) Kalispell MT (USA) Moorsele (BEL) Bökeberg (SWE) Moorsele (BEL) Ermelo (NED) Dublin (IRL) Mansfield, ON (CAN) Greven-Bockholt (GER) Kecskemet (HUN) Kristiansand (NOR) Plovdiv (BUL) Strzegom (POL)

Rajasthan is the colourful setting for a report on the Marwari breed today.

This is Your Magazine, and we want Your input, so give us a call or email to be a part of FEI FOCUS.


The Other Side of ...

John Whitaker A dedicated family man with deep roots in the heart of the English countryside and a powerful work ethic – Britain’s John Whitaker, the living legend of international show jumping, talks with Louise Parkes.

© Tim Flach

Home is... in Yorkshire. I have a farm with 120 acres and I graze cattle and make haylage and keep the horses there. Horses are bad grazers and the cows tidy up all the paddocks. I’m never happier than when I’m working in my tractor. It’s a John Deere and I really enjoy messing around with it.

Farming is in my blood... My father and his father both had farms in the same area. My family might go back even further in this part of the country but I don’t know because I’ve never asked about it beyond my grandfather’s generation.



The Other Side of ...

John Whitaker “I think you go through life trying to make a better life for your kids.”

When I got married... When it comes to the I moved from the original family farm which family... is still run by my brother Ian and bought my own place which is not far away.

My parents always... © Kit Houghton

worked hard and they taught us to do the same. As kids, me and Michael did a milk round with a horse and cart before going to school. When we got home after school we would ride a bit.

My parents were... very influential on the whole family. My father would always look at the bright side of everything and I think it rubbed off on all of us. For example, if we went into the ring and knocked down eight fences out of ten on the course he would say – “you jumped the two brilliant!”.

You see a lot of... parents of young children giving them aggravation when things don’t go right and I hate that. Ours is a tough sport in that respect. The days when things go well are great, but there are so many days when you travel for miles and things go all wrong and it’s frustrating but it’s all part of the same sport and you just have to be able to handle it.

I think you go through life... trying to make a better life for your kids. That’s what my parents did. But I don’t think it always pays off when things come easier for young people. Kids today have a different outlook on life and they don’t always cope with the bad days as well as we might have done.


it makes it easier that we are all doing the same thing. We don’t have a normal family life but we travel together as a family and we are lucky that we are all sporty and interested in the same thing.

I follow all the sports... but I’m not fanatical about one in particular. I like to watch the soccer World Cup, and tennis and cricket. But when I’m taking time out for myself my favourite thing is sitting up on my tractor and doing stuff around the farm. I find that really relaxing.

I’ve thought about leaving England... When the kids were growing up we didn’t want to uproot them from school and its only now that they are grown up that I’m thinking about how much easier it would be if we were living on the continent. It wouldn’t take much to encourage Robert to move abroad but I can’t see myself doing it really, it’s a bit late for me now. And I like where we live.

I think I’m very lucky... I look around at the world and I see people living desperate lives in famines and wars while I’m doing something I love and enjoy in a society of people who get along pretty well. I know I’m fortunate.

I’d like to be remembered... for two things – for being consistently successful as a rider, and for being someone who was easy to get along with.



Since its launch in the spring of 2009, the Fédération Equestre Internationale’s new official video website FEI TV is offering partners, members, media, riders and the entire international equestrian community a new, exciting and tailored service. Horsesport fans from all over the world can now converge in ONE place and follow the sport, the athletes and the disciplines they love, at anytime and any place… FEI TV is offering users frequent and high quality live broadcasts from the world’s most prestigious equestrian events throughout the entire year as well as a unique, constantly updated and extended back catalogue ranging all the FEI disciplines. In just a number of months, since the successful launch with the live broadcast from the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, the channel has continued to stretch its wings and is now on its way to becoming horsesport's premier online video destination for the entire global equestrian community and beyond.

Exclusive Live Broadcasts

High Quality

Any Time, Any Place

offering users an extraordinary range of live broadcasts from the most prestigious events around the globe. Over the coming months this will include all the action from the 2009 Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ series, many of the FEI European Championships scheduled this summer as well as prominent and exclusive coverage of the HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing Final in Poland in August. As the live schedule is constantly updated, check the site to find out what’s on next !

both in terms of technology and content production, FEI TV is committed to providing you with consistent high quality. This applies to the displayed image delivery as well as state of the art video production from the most advanced international specialists, as well as high profile commentary from experienced professionals bringing you all the action straight to your desktop.

because no matter where you are, you can always watch FEI TV... One of the aims of FEI TV is to provide communities all around the world, and in particular the countries that do not traditionally have access to equestrian footage on their domestic TV landscape, with ONE platform to view the sport, the highlights and the stories that make equestrian life and competition so unique.

Unique Content including “behind the scenes footage”, interviews, highlights programmes, previews and reviews, equestrian lifestyle features and a remarkable video archive making FEI TV a unique and “must see” equestrian video destination. Recent uploads include the first ever and very exciting global coverage of the HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing qualifier in Kihikihi, New Zealand and the first ever highlights programme of the HSBC FEI Classics event in Luhmuhlen, Germany. Throughout the summer FEI TV will be providing unique coverage and content from a number of destinations, including the FEI European Vaulting Championships in Sweden and other exciting highlights from around the world.

Join us and witness the history of the sport as it unfolds.



Memory Lane

The FEI was born in 1921. After the rather sobering experience of the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp (as compared to the glory of 1912 in Stockholm), the International Olympic Committee invited all Olympic sports which were not organised internationally to a three day meeting in Lausanne from 28 –30 May 1921. Equestrian sport was among those invited and ten countries sent delegates. At the end of the three days, the Equestrian Federations of France, USA, Sweden and Japan decided on the formation of an International Equestrian Federation, to be formally confirmed at a first Congress in November of that year. The four founding Federations along with Belgium,




Denmark, Norway and Italy thus met on 24 November 1921 in Paris and sealed the deal. From that point onwards, a congress was held, at least, annually, but it was only at the 14th reunion, in July 1930 in Lucerne, that the proposal of an annual FEI Bulletin was raised forthe first time. The delegates of 19 countries agreed to the proposal with the following specifications : The annual “Bulletin


launch of FEI FOCUS, Memory Lane takes a stroll through the origins, beginnings and life of the FEI Bulletin. With the

By Max E. Ammann

Officiel de la FEI” should contain the lists for the affiliated Federations, the addresses of the Committees and of the national delegates, the major happenings of the past year (decisions taken, sanctions imposed), the results of international competitions and the calendar of international events of the coming year. Thus, dated December 1930, FEI Bulletin No.1 appeared. It had 67 pages, A4 format and contained a short history of the first ten years of the FEI ; the minutes of the last congress in Lucerne (only half a page) ; changes to the three regulation-books then in use : Statutes, General Regulations and Olympic Games ; a very



several years. In March of 1953 it reappeared but as a new Number 1 and on a quarterly basis for the next 24 years.

was short, and it was only in 1994 that the texts became printed while the results remained in typewritten form.

In 1977 , time was of the essence and so the Bulletin was reinvented as a monthly, typewritten newsletter, still in A4 format. The contents remained the same, but these “Nouvelles Brèves” were a cheap solution and not much appreciated by the recipients. So it was reborn again in 1978 as a monthly A5 publication with a glossy cover. By the end of 1978 the FEI moved from Brussels to Bern, having shared the office and the employees of the Belgian Federation for

Over the next ten years, the content would remain fairly consistent with just the covers marking the years, from watercolours to a Driving gouache by K Rommel, the polish son of an Olympic rider of 1912 and 1924; the Olympic disciplines in 2000, all seven disciplines in 2001, and then new covers for each issue as of 2003. But what was really changing was the frequency ; from twelve, to ten to six and then to five ...



emotional appeal to protect the Dressage judges from unsportsman-like attacks ; some clarifications to the Amateur Gentlemen Professional controversy; the calendar for 1931 (only 16 events); and the results for 1930.

25 years including its President as Secretary General and the ever faithful Robert Michel and secretary Nadine Borenberger. But it took until May 1979 for the production of the Bulletin to be transferred to Bern.

The annual FEI Bulletin appeared until December 1938 and then again – after the interruption due to World War II – in December 1948. This tenth FEI Bulletin would be the last for

The move gave rise to the creation of four departments and half a dozen staff. The Bulletin had to be jazzed-up. It was divided into an official and an information part. But money




It was only a matter of time for the old FEI Bulletin as much of its content had found a new virtual home on the FEI website. In its place, the FEI has launched FEI FOCUS, an entirely new official publication in terms of style, scope and format printed on a quartely basis and with a new “raison d’être” – to showcase, highlight and promote the many faces of horsesport, at all levels and on all four corners of the globe.



Into the Wild “Torres del Paine”

© Pia Vergara

In a land of contrasting and awe inspiring landscapes, one woman has set out to document and reveal the lives of the “Baguales”, one of the few herds of wild horses in the world today living in a most remote and intriguing place. Patagonia is the setting for this wonderful endeavour, a geographic region containing the southernmost portion of South America covering over one million square kilometers including a large portion of Argentina and the southern tip of Chile. For Pia Vergara (pictured left), an up and coming Chilean photographer, avid fan of Patagonia and horses – the fit is just right. It’s in the Torres del Paine National Park, declared a UNESCO Heritage site (World Biosphere Reserve) in 1978, and home to exotic and diverse wildlife that Pia and her dedicated team will be spending their time, watching, analysing, tracking and documenting every move of the Baguales. It is estimated that there are around 200 horses living there, and depending on


the time of year, can be grouped in large herds or smaller harems where the stallions fiercely defend the reproductive rights to their mares. They have roamed free with minimal, if any, contact with humans for more than 30 years. So, simply locating the horses was a bit of a challenge in itself, but the first scouting expedition last year, financed by Nikon, put these fears to rest, as they not only found herds of wild horses but were able to get some unprecedented and extraordinary footage of the Baguales of Torres del Paine. At first the objective was to publish a book and to offer a series of photographic exhibitions in different galleries throughout Chile and the world. However, as time went by, and as people began to flock to the project, it became clear that this would be much more than a photographic adventure. The scope grew and the idea of producing an audiovisual documentary arose as well as the need to carry out scientific investigations to support the findings they would make.



As a result, the project now has the backing and patronage of the Chilean Government through SERNATUR (the National Tourist Service) as well as that of CONAF (the Chilean National Parks Office) and other companies that are willing to collaborate with this great adventure such as Nikon Chile, Explora Hotel and The National Broadcaster of Chile (TVN) among others. What began as a dream, the quest of one woman to document the lives of these mystical horses grew, organically and in matter of months, into a matter of national pride and conservation – more than Pia could ever have dreamed of achieving.


The scientific study has now become a fundamental part of the project in order to establish the biological and ecological basis needed to kick-start protection and conservation initiatives.

which is crucial if they are to record the habits and behaviour of the horses throughout the seasons and obtain striking and never seen before, close-up images of the horses.

In order to achieve this, a base camp will be set up within the vicinity of the herd with a work team, carrying out monthly visits to this location over a time span of two years. An integral part of this project revolves around forging a relationship of trust between the research team and the herd, a bond

The project will be administered by “Patagonia Silvestre”, an institution founded by the producers of this project, whose fundamental objective is to work on the study, conservation and dissemination of the natural and cultural patrimony of Chile, in particular of Patagonia.

To find out more, visit


Martin Atock

A Life in a Day

Ever wondered how it feels to be responsible for hundreds of horses as they travel the world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year ? Meet Martin Atock, managing director of Peden Bloodstock. A normal day usually starts between 04.30 and 05.30 depending on what projects I am working on and in which time zone they are taking place. I’ll get up having firstly scanned all mails on my blackberry, have a strong coffee, feed the animals (ignoring any mess they may have made overnight) and then start systemically answering mails starting on those from the Far East and during the day working though all time zones to South America and the US West Coast. By 07.30 I would have had breakfast prior to talking a wander with the dogs and then I would be back in my office wading through correspondence and getting in touch with some of my overseas contacts that I know will soon be out of reach. It really is a 24/7 job when you irrevocably commit to deliver horses smoothly and without incident door to door all around the world, you wouldn’t dream of having a shower without a Blackberry within grasping reach. Even more so during Olympic Games and major events when there are so many horses travelling simultaneously from countless countries of origin, which translates into unlimited challenges all of which require solutions… Once at the office, it’s emails and phone calls for the most part of the day. There are days when I’m at the airport for hours on end or travelling to meetings, in the middle of the night to arrive for 8am. It’s rarely a normal day at the office, but that’s what keeps you on your toes and makes it so interesting. I never take more than 15 minutes for a snack at lunch time combined with a scan of World News in the International Herald Tribune. I try to finish by 19.30, my wife has generally had an equally busy day so we catch up over dinner and then I spend the rest of the evening trying to relax whilst answering incoming mails/calls on my Blackberry before signing off at around 23.00, providing all is going as smoothly as planned… 41

Postcard from Germany

German Equestrian Federation Interview with Soenke Lauterback


You recently took over the reins of the German Equestrian Federation, which had been in the hands of Dr Hanfried

President : Breido Graf Zu Rantzau Secretary General : Soenke Lauterback 160 work at the NF 7660 Clubs/Riding Associations 753 004 members 85 991 competitors

Haring for the past 22 years, has it been a challenging transition period? The decision that I would become Secretary General was made in March 2006. An important step in preparation for this role was my two-years stay in Hong Kong from October 2006 to November 2008, working for the Hong Kong Jockey Club, the Hong Kong Equestrian Federation and the organising committee of the Olympic Equestrian events in 2008. This, in addition to the 8 years I worked with the German NF, have provided me with an excellent background for the new position.

More than half the members are under 26 3 660 commercial horse centres 52 453 personal members 26 breeding organisations Between 1 600 000 and 1 700 000 men, women and children ride, drive and vault regularly in Germany In 2008 there were 3692 national events 230 International Events (96 Jumping, 57 Eventing, 30 Dressage, 22 Endurance, 12 Driving, 6 Reining, 5 Vaulting, 2 Para-Equestrian)

How did you get started in equestrian sport? I started when I was 10 years old in a local riding club. Over the years I competed up to Intermediate in Dressage and entered classes up to 1.20 m in Jumping. I am a bit proud to say that I did so with the same horse. Equestrian sport is particularly prominent in Germany, how do you go about ensuring that it stays popular ?

Nowadays with 1, 7 million riders, almost all groups of our society are involved with horses and horsesport. Our NF runs numerous programmes to create interest in the sport, to help local clubs and professional barns and to develop our system of education and shows in order to keep them attractive for the public. Does Youth play an important role at GER NF and what are the key messages you want to pass on to the future equestrian athletes ?


Youth definitely plays an

important role. We have our own Youth Department that coordinates programmes and competition series and championships. My message to young athletes would be to respect (or love) your horse or pony as your partner. It is not a machine, a bull or a racket, it is a living creature. If you follow this, then it will pay back. If you were leading a developing national federation,

Well, I can quite safely say (without offending any of my friends in Hong Kong) that I have led a developing NF. I think it is crucial to develop a club system. And you need to train your instructors and officials, those who run the sport and are responsible to train the next generation. I know that this is easily said, but sometimes hard to achieve. In Hong Kong I learned a lot about the problems small NFs are facing every day. But the assistance that the FEI provides to those NFs is very helpful. Furthermore, there are additional ways to go. HKEF and NF GER now have a close cooperation, and we offer our assistance on all kinds of levels.

what would be your first steps ?

What’s at the top of your wish list for the German Fed-

We have to find solutions in our activities for clean sport, because we need to be accepted by the general public and media and – most important – our horses deserve fair treatment. We also have to negotiate a new TV contract with our national broadcasters for the years after 2009. A strong TV concept is crucial for the sport.

eration in 2009/2010 and why ?


Alltech Tips

Ask where, not just what is in your horses feed when purchasing it.

Darlene Ricker, an international equine media consultant, has covered equestrian sports for the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times. A warmblood breeder in Lexington, Ky., she is the author of several books on equestrian sports.

Health-conscious equestrians have learned to pay as much attention to what is in their horses’ feed as is in the food on their own tables. Like food packaging, the label on a bag of horse feed lists the ingredients from the highest percentage to the lowest. What the labels do not say, however, may be the most important variable of all : the source of the ingredients. The issue of “where has your feed been sourced” – known as traceability – was at the crux of a 2008 alert involving a major horse feed company. Contaminated grain resulted in a voluntary recall after aflatoxin, a potentially life-threatening form of mycotoxin, was found in certain feeds that had been distributed to U.S. dealers in 17 East Coast states. The company immediately notified the dealers, who removed the affected lot numbers from their stock. But some customers had already transferred the feed into their own containers and had discarded the bags on which the lot numbers were printed. Traceability was further complicated because neither consumers nor feed manufacturers knew the answer to the key question : Where had the tainted ingredient come from? A spokeswoman for the company said the company traced the contamination to “a single ingredient from a single supplier.” Although it ceased using that supplier, it did not disclose its identity or the ingredient at issue. The possibility remained, therefore, that manufacturers of other brands of horse feeds could have purchased the same ingredient from the same supplier.


For the international market, the implications are staggering. As observed in an article on an Alltech-supported website,, the global impact of mycotoxins has been recognised by governing institutions throughout the world. In recent years, the European Union has introduced legislation to limit the levels of mycotoxins in grains. As far back as 1985, mycotoxins were known to have contaminated the world’s feed supply. Several years ago, researchers at the Irish Equine Centre examined mycotoxin levels in horse feed and bedding. After evaluating 175 samples for deoxynivalenol and zearalenone, researchers found 20 percent contaminated with one or both types of mycotoxin. Feed had the highest incidence, at 33.8 to 61.8 percent. Straw bedding also showed significant levels of toxicity. While many mycotoxins can harm horses, aflatoxins are acutely dangerous. Affected horses may exhibit feed refusal, fever, weight loss, sluggishness and bloody diarrhoea. Worse, the toxicity can be cumulative. High levels can cause liver and kidney damage, jaundice, birth defects, tumors, can suppress the immune function, and may contribute to colic. Even at non-critical levels, they can detract from a horse’s performance and condition.

and Alltech bore that out. Researchers at the University of Guelph’s Equine Centre studied the effects of mycotoxin adsorbents on nine sedentary mature mares : three in a control group ; three that received fusarium mycotoxins in the daily grain ration (a blend of wheat and corn) ; and three fed contaminated grain that included a mycotoxin adsorbent. Horses in the latter group showed the least mycotoxin effects.

The risks can be reduced by buying grain from manufacturers of premium horse feeds that utilise ingredients known as mycotoxin adsorbents (the opposite of absorbents). These inhibit the effects of mycotoxins, said Dr. Amy Gill, an equine nutrition consultant in Lexington, Kentucky. She noted that the 30+ Global Animal Health and Nutrition Partners of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010 supplement their formulae with potent mycotoxin-fighting products, such as Alltech’s glucomannan polymer. These additives, said Gill, are designed to “prevent mycotoxins from exerting their effect in the digestive tract by binding to them and rendering them inert. When fed on a daily basis with the normal ration, the risk of mycotoxin poisoning is greatly reduced.” A Canadian study supported by the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Rural Job Strategy Fund,

Still, not all feed companies include mycotoxin inhibitors, nor are they always as careful as they should be about the source of their ingredients and subsequent quality testing of additives coming into their facility. Some manufacturers rely on “least-cost” formulae to mix their grains, using whichever substitutable feed ingredient by-product is least expensive at the time. One week their products may contain peanut hulls, the next week corn screenings, perhaps the following month a soy byproduct. “Consumers need to be aware of this fact and ask questions if they are unsure of the quality control measures in place for their brand of feed. Purchasing feed from a reputable manufacturer lessens the chance of contamination,” said Gill. If the label doesn’t specify the source of its ingredients, she said, ask whether the feed contains the name-brand product you desire. If it does not, her advice is to buy your feed elsewhere or find a mycotoxin adsorbent product that can be top-dressed.


The Road to 2010

The Road to the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games In 2010, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will be hosted in America for the first time. Lexington, Kentucky and the Kentucky Horse Park are proud to host thousands of guests for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The Games have never before included Para-Equestrian Dressage; nor have all eight disciplines competed at a single site Both firsts that will be achieved at the Kentucky Horse Park. The long-term vision of the Kentucky Horse Park is becoming a reality through many Park renovations, including a new climate-controlled indoor arena, an outdoor stadium, and other park-wide improvements on roads and event stalls. These renovations will make the world-renowned Kentucky Horse Park a world-class venue before the Games, for the 2010 Games and for years of future competitions beyond 2010. As Lexington, Kentucky and the Kentucky Horse Park prepare for the arrival of the 2010 Games, travellers are encouraged to do so as well. Tickets for the 2010 Games will go on sale on September 25, 2009, and hospitality packages are already available. Lexington, Kentucky is home to legendary horses, breathtaking landscapes, and a culture rich in tradition. Visit to find more information about planning your trip to Kentucky. Guests can visit the accommodations page of the Games’ web site to be placed on a priority list for accommodations, and can find other destinations to visit while in Kentucky for the Games. Visit for information about the competition, event schedule, venues, and much more. Kentucky is ready to host the world in 2010 – we hope to see you there !


Launch Edition July 2009

Launch Edition 2009

William Shatner Exclusive Interview – Page 18

Celebrating 100 Years of the Nations Cup – Page 20

The Other Side of John Whitaker – Page 28

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