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Spotlight on Youth October 2009

October 2009

Allix Jones

Globetrotting – Page 24

The Other Side of

Micheal Jung – Page 32

Marwari Breed

The lost horses of Rajputana – Page 42

rolex fei world cup™ jumping october 2009 to april 2010 all roads lead to geneva

Minutes before the start of each competition, riders walk the course, methodically pacing off the exact distance between one jump and the next. The ritual is something to behold as precision defines the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping. Season-long trials put riders and horses through an artful but challenging test. These intense, indoor events are qualifying rounds that bring the best of the best to Geneva to compete in the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Final. A conclusion that is easier said than done.


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Note from the FEI President

Dear friends, I hope you all enjoyed the first issue of FEI Focus, your letters and emails have been very encouraging and we hope to tailor this magazine to your needs as we progress from edition to edition. As you will see, this issue has a distinct youth flavour, a fitting perspective as we embark on the FEI’s first ever Year of Youth, launched in August of this year and set to run through to next August in the lead up to the first ever Youth Olympic Games. It has been a busy summer for both our youth and senior competitors with new records and awe inspiring sporting moments around the globe and in all the FEI disciplines. Alongside these many positive achievements, we have also devoted much of these past few months to issues such as Clean Sport.

TV Watch FEI TV for extensive and high-quality live and on-demand coverage, highlights programmes and behind the scenes interviews from major events around the world. FEI TV will also broadcast the FEI General Assembly LIVE from Copenhagen on 19 November.

Our next edition will be prepared immediately following the FEI General Assembly in Copenhagen and we will report back to you with some of the key decisions and the road ahead for Clean Sport, one which we are confident will provide us with the tools and vision to ensure a prosperous future for equestrian sport and the FEI Family.

Throughout this edition of FEI FOCUS, our attention is turned resolutely towards Youth by showcasing many of the up and coming faces of horsesport and acknowledging the role they will play in the years to come. They are the next generation of the FEI Family, whether they are the athletes, the fans, the owners, the volunteers, the officials or the media. We need to listen to their needs so that we can plan a future that they will be interested in and want to be a part of. This also includes proactively tackling the areas of our infrastructure that relate to fair play. In doing so, we will secure both for ourselves, and the generations that will follow us, a clean sport, building on solid foundations and, therefore, a healthy and solid future for our sport. With such a diversity of disciplines and so many opportunities, we have something to offer everyone around the globe, and it is my sincere hope that we will also deliver this message of universality over the next twelve months. HRH Princess Haya FEI President

Alex McLin FEI Secretary General

Detailed Broadcast schedules available at



Table of Contents

08 Through the Looking Glass Photos by Remco Veurink

14 One Day… Portraits of the next generation

18 Why the Long Face?

Impressum – October 2009 Circulation 3000 Frequency Quarterly Editor in Chief Olivia Robinson Gordon Design /Art Printing SRO Kundig, Geneva Cover© Joël von Allmen, Neuchâtel

24 A World of Oppurtunities Allix Jones

With the future

28 FEI Awards 2009

Joanna Eccles

30 Globetrotter

Fantastic French take first Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ Title

From Beijing to London

42 Marwari Breed

Micheal Jung

The lost horses of Rajputana



49 A Life in a Day 50 Postcard from Uruguay Interview with Jorge Zeballos

40 The long Adventure

32 The Other Side of…

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

Lyndsey Jordan

38 Golden Lady in Red

Celebrating our Heroes

Exclusive interview with Pam Grier

20 Meydan FEI Nations Cup™

34 On the Hoof…

Contact /Advertising


52 Alltech Tips The benefits of antioxidant nutrition

54 The Road to 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™



Through the Looking Glass

Remco Veurink

To see more of his work, check out

© Remco Veurink

As we celebrate Youth in this edition of FEI FOCUS, we would like to take this opportunity to showcase the works of a young, up and coming equestrian photographer from the Netherlands, Remco Veurink. At just 24 years of age, Remco is a passionate and professional photographer, with his eye turned resolutely towards horses and horsesport. He was 12 when his mother gave him an old, dilapidated, manual camera to go out and rediscover the world with, and that’s exactly what he did. Living near a race track, he immediately began to experiment taking photos of racing cars, but it was thanks to a close friend, Pieter Koopmans – a young talented show jumper and course designer that tragically died last year in a car accident – that his equestrian photographic career began in earnest when he was introduced to Jacob Melissen, who has been his mentor and employer since then. Jacob Melissen is the man behind the comprehensive photographic database providing photos in real time and available for download from horsesport’s premier events around the world, including the Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ series, the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping series, European and World Championships and Olympic Games. Remco’s style testifies of his interest in emotion and detail, always seeking to provide a fresh way of portraying the sport and its athletes – both human and equine. While his energetic demeanour and enthusiasm to provide quality and artistic photos make him a delight to work with.



Through the Looking Glass


Remco Veurink


Through the Looking Glass


Remco Veurink


One Day…

Portraits of the next generation

Bram Chardon (NED) was practically born on a carriage as son of four times individual four-in-hand World Champion IJsbrand Chardon and grandson of the late four-in-hand driver Bram Chardon. At the age of sixteen, Bram competes at sub-national level with his four-in-hand of grey Welsh ponies and is determined to soon follow into the footsteps of his father.

Pakjira Thongpakdi

Fifteen year old (THA) is an avid fan of Dressage and has competed in a number of FEI World Dressage Challenges already. She dreams of ONE DAY making a career in horsesport and is constantly recruiting new friends to her number one hobby.

Who is your role model ? Anky Van Grunsven and Isabell Werth.

© Joost Rouwhorst

When did you start riding and why ? When I was 7 or 8, my friend persuaded me to try and I just loved it for no reason.

Who is your role model ? My father ! I admire him because he has been competing at the top for over twenty years. He won his first individual gold medal in 1988 and in 2008, he became World Champion for the fourth time. In competition, is it all about winning ? When I started to compete myself, winning was no issue. I was very young, our main goal was to create a good team. But at the moment, yes, I want to win everything! Who is your biggest fan ? My mother. She comes with me to every competition; she drives the lorry and arranges everything. Before, she also went on the carriage with me in all phases, but now my eldest sister Jeannette is my groom in the marathon and my other sister Edith rides with me in dressage and cones. Complete the sentence : One day I would like to… Become World Champion with a horse team ! The next few years I will compete with my pony team and I hope to be selected for the 2011 FEI World Combined Pony Driving Championships. 14

Do you have a good relationship with your crew ? My crew is just super. We are all equal, we eat, drink and celebrate together and we can say anything to each other. How do you imagine your life will be in the future ? I am not sure yet if I have enough talent to become a professional coachman like my father. My parents run a riding school and I would like to continue this business, but I am also following an education at an advanced level so that option is always there. Complete the sentence… In the future I would like to sport to be… More known and more practised in more countries. Our sport must become more attractive for more people so we can attract more spectators. Therefore, the driving sport must stay clean and we must avoid doping cases and animal cruelty.

In competition, is it all about winning ? No, I just want to have fun with it and gain more experiences but if I can win it would be great. Who is your biggest fan ? Err… I think I don’t have any fans yet. Complete the sentence : One day I would like to… succeed in horse riding and be a good rider and maybe represent Thailand in the Asian Games. What are your hobbies ? Nowadays my only hobby is HORSE RIDING. What are your aims in terms of a career ? Umm… actually I haven’t made up my mind about my future yet but something around horse riding would be nice. If you were stuck on a deserted island, what would you like to have with you ? What kind of question is this!?! But if I was really stuck on a deserted island I would like to have my mobile phone with me so I can call my parents to pick me up, of course everyone wants to go home right?? She laughs…

How do you feel after winning ? I’m so delighted and proud of myself. Do you do something for good luck ? Yes, especially the night before I compete, I usually pray. I also put a pin (given to me by Hans Staub long time ago) on my competing jacket. Complete the sentence… In the future I would like the sport to be… better known in my country because horse riding in Thailand is not very popular and I want everyone to try it, surely they will love it.


Why the Long Face ?

Pam Grier talks horses

© The L Word

What is it about the horse that makes you a horse lover ? I enjoy their movement. To watch them cantor is lovely.

When did you first develop a bond with the horse ? When I was 6 years old, my relative’s draft horse was mesmerizing.

Your first riding experience – was it bliss or terror ? Bliss!

What do you think young people gain from riding ? It gives them both a confidence and sense of honour.

Would you encourage young people to get involved in riding both at the amateur and professional level? Yes !

Do you think that riding can add to the character and development of a young person ? Yes. There is discipline, courage and safety in the interaction with your equine partner.

‘At 6 years I was told not to ride the large draft horse,

but I did and it was nirvana!’ If horses could talk, what would they be saying? Do not destroy our shared world ! Is there a unique trait you look for in a horse that you can’t find in people ? Trust. What would you miss most if you could no longer go riding? The partnership. Always calm and well articulated, with a remarkably positive philosophy on life, Pam Grier shot to fame in the early 70s playing big, bold, assertive roles such as 1974's Foxy Brown, paving the way for a new generation of actresses that could hold their own in any action picture with a fearless manner. She shot back to fame ten years ago, for her role in Quentin Tarantino's film Jackie Brown and at the moment can be seen in all her glamour and poise in the L-Word. She discovered a passion for horses at an early age and has never looked back … 18

What’s your usual riding outfit consist of ? Helmet, polo shirt, riding pants, chaps and paddock boots. Sugar lumps or carrots ? Without a doubt it has to be carrots! What’s your favourite part of a horse ? I admire their entire anatomy. Have you ever competed in an equestrian event (at any level) or thought about how you could get involved ? My film companies do not want me to ride during production. They hold their breath even at lunging.

Where in the world would you most like to ride? Ireland and Austria – both wonderful places. If you could spend one afternoon riding with a famous person (past or present) who would it be and why ? Beezie Madden (American show jumping competitor and olympic champion). Her style is so encouraging. When did you first ride a horse ? What are your earliest memories of riding ? At 6 years I was told not to ride the large draft horse. But I did and it was nirvana! Two horses go out for dinner, what kind of restaurant do they choose ? Wild Oats Café! Two horses go to a concert, who do they see ? Equus, the musical ! All time favourite horse film? Seabiscuit, Hidalgo and Steinbecks’s “The Red Pony”.


Meydan FEI Nations CupTM

Fantastic French take first Meydan title

Above – Ashlee Bond, Laura Kraut and George Morris. Below – The French team celebrating their victory.

Darragh Kerins (IRL) riding Night Train in Falsterbo.

© Remco Veurink

In Rome two weeks later, the French very nearly forced a jump-off with the USA, but Richard Spooner and Cristallo's last-to-go clear clinched it for the Americans. And US sensation, 23 year old rookie Ashlee Bond, recorded her second double-clear performance of the series with Cadett. When she made it three fault-free performances in a row with another fantastic outing at St Gallen, Switzerland it seemed little short of incredible. Course designer, Rolf Ludi's demanding course produced plenty of drama including a fall and three eliminations, leading the Americans into a two-way jump-off against Germany. George Morris chose Spooner and Cristallo to fly the US flag and although they left a fence on the floor it was their fast time that did the trick when Marcus Ehning's attempt at a slow clear with Plot Blue didn't quite come off. Swiss emotions were running high that day as Marcus Fuchs brought his competitive career to a close with a record-breaking 145th nations cup appearance, but, as time would tell, his influence on the series was not yet complete. © Remco Veurink

A new sponsor lit a new spark in the sport of Nations Cup Jumping this season as Meydan, creators of Dubai's iconic new racecourse and city development, oversaw a spectacular summer of team competition. The 2009 Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ series could hardly have been choreographed to greater effect – the celebration of 100 years of Nations Cup competition, the fluctuating fortunes of many of the world's best sides, and the sensational finale when the already-relegated Italians produced a late burst of brilliance – combining to provide edge-of-the-seat excitement to the very end.


It began back in May at La Baule in France with a fierce battle for those first precious points that can make all the difference at the end of the season. This first of the eight legs of the series came down to a two-way jump-off between Switzerland and Sweden. In an unusual twist, third-round tie-breakers would be common-place all season. Sweden's Svante Johansson was pitted against Swiss veteran Markus Fuchs who led the way in the jump-off with a great clear from La Toya. So when Johansson's brilliant little stallion, Saint Amour, made his first mistakes of the day with two fences down it would be a Swiss victory.

The Americans topped the leaderboard follo-wed closely by Switzerland and Germany as the action moved to Rotterdam in June where the French began to really flex their muscles. Yet again it would take a jump-off to decide the winners and yet again the USA were challeng-ing for the topspot as McLain Ward led the way against the clock. With the great mare Saphire he set a truly tight target for French-woman Penelope Leprevost but she never flinched and raced home quicker with Jubilly d'Ouilly. French Chef d'Equipe, Laurent Elias, said he sent Le-prevost into the decider because "she knows no fear!".

It was France on top again in Aachen in July where their zero score pinned the Dutch and Germans into joint-second place and their powerful team spirit was palpable – "it is the most important thing to us" Laurent Elias pointed out. The Irish scored a surprise win at Falsterbo in Sweden when Darragh Kerins and his 158 cms pocket-rocket Night Train produced one of only two double-clear rounds, and this would save them from what seemed like almost certain relegation.


Meydan FEI Nations CupTM

© Kit Houghton

Rebecca Golash (GER) riding Lassen Peak at Hickstead.

Hickstead heroine was Germany's Janne-Frederike Meyer as, once more, the result was decided in a jumpoff. She followed Roger-Yves Bost and Ideal de la Loge into the ring on her third and final trip but the Frenchman had left the door open with one fence down and Meyer returned a cool third clear from her small stallion Cellagon Lambrasco to seal it. So the French came to Dublin with series victory in their sights and there was deep sympathy for the rank outsiders from Italy when they were drawn first to go. They trailed so far behind the rest they had, long before, accepted their fate as Promotional League contenders in 2010. However with the now-retired Markus Fuchs appointed Italian team coach, they came out like roaring lions – determined to go down with dignity. They shared the lead with the USA at the 22

halfway point but the Americans slipped to leave them clear winners ahead of the joint runners-up from Switzerland and Britain. France meanwhile claimed the 2009 Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ title to mark a definitive return to the top end of the sport after a period of uncomfortable uncertainty. French resolve is now restored and, as Laurent Elias pointed out in his uniquely quiet way, this great victory was possible "because in every competition this season my riders gave me everything they had". Watch the Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ on FEI TV 3BDJOH8PSLJOH-JWJOH

A World of Opportunities

Allix Jones

© Joel von Allmen

From Australia to Hong Kong to Switzerland to Germany to Austria and on to Hungary for the FEI World Endurance Championships for Young Riders, Allix Jones ... She’s bright and bubbly and full of excitement – ‘I’m living the dream!’ exclaims Allix, and what a dream she is living! Allix is an endurance rider, full of steely grit and determination, a real ‘conquer all’ attitude, all encompassed in a dynamic and spirited exterior. ‘I can’t believe I’m here, I can’t believe I’ve made it!’ she grins. Allix has been working towards her dream long and hard. She has been riding all her life and started competing nationally at the tender age of 10. Now at 16, she competes regularly at home on the Aussie International scene and has finally earned her place on the Young Rider Australian Endurance Team for the 2009 World Endurance Championships.



A World of Opportunities

This trip means everything to Allix, she has sacrificed a lot in order to reach her dream of ‘hitting the big time’ and competing on the World Stage. With the supportive backing of her parents, Wendy and Brad, Allix has put on hold her final year of education to focus solely on her Championship ambition. ‘I wanted to put everything into the selection. I’ve worked hard, and now I’m going to represent Australia – now how many people can say they’ve done that?!’ ‘I so want everything to go well during the ride’ murmurs Allix. Of course, every endurance rider needs a little luck on the day. 120 km is a long way – but with the great training both horse and rider have had, hopes are high. ‘I want to finish well – I want to do


Allix Jones

everyone proud and do justice to my own ability and that of the horse, and of course the Australian Team!’. So just what lies ahead of Allix on her Championship dream remains to be seen. ‘Cross your fingers for me folks!’ she laughs. And crossed they are Allix – let’s hope the dreams of this Young Rider can be realised and that the combination of Allix and her borrowed horse HS Saboteur, come home safe and sound, the first rung completed on her long ladder of hopes and aspirations.


Celebrating our heroes


19 November

We’re pleased to announce that the FEI Awards have been extended to include five new categories that are voted by the public – an opportunity for YOU and the entire equestrian community to come together and pay tribute to the heroes of the sport. “The new awards have been created to put the spotlight on all those who have contributed to the progress and excellence of equestrian sport,” said HRH Princess Haya, President of the FEI. “These awards will not only recognise the achievements and success of individuals and highlight the stars of today and tomorrow but they will also bring together all those involved in the sport around the world.” This is the first time the equestrian community has been consulted for FEI AWARDS, allowing everyone the opportunity to nominate their role models - from the top international athletes to the everyday heroes around the world.

The winners will be selected by an international judging panel chaired by the FEI President. The judging panel consists of Eleonora Ottaviani (ITA), Diana Ramos (DOM), Mark Todd (NZL), Kai Vorberg (GER), and representatives from Alltech and HSBC. The 2009 FEI Awards will be presented to the winning candidates on 19 November at the Gala dinner held on the occasion of the annual FEI General Assembly, taking place this year in the Danish capital Copenhagen. All you need to know and more can be found at

This year FEI Awards in five categories will be presented:

To a rider, driver or vaulter who has shown exceptional sportsmanship and prowess;

To a rider between the ages of 14 and 21 has not only demonstrated significant talent but also love of the sport, commitment and practice;

For a development project, individual or organisation that has shown exceptional skill, dedication and energy in expanding the sport.

To celebrate a disabled rider of any age who has demonstrated that disability is no hindrance to sporting proficiency.

The deadline for nominations is 17 October. To the often uncelebrated yet important person who works behind the scenes.



Globetrotter The Rolex Rankings – Measuring Success in a Global Sport

When it comes to an event as big as the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, it's the little details that count – even those as small as a blade of grass. That's why DLF International Seeds will supply just under 10,000 kilos of grass seed to be laid down over the cross-country course at the Kentucky Horse Park before, during and after the Games. The course will be used for endurance, carriage driving and the cross-country phase of the Eventing competition. Visitors also will be pleased to know that when they come to the Bluegrass for the Games, they will indeed see bluegrass!

For jumping riders there is only one place to be, and that's at the top end of the prestigious Rolex Rankings list. It is an indication of status on the world stage, and there has rarely been a more global mix of riders in the top 20 than there are at present. In September, Germany's Marcus Ehning holds pole position for the third month in succession, but he is now trailed by Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze from Canada who has moved up to second while the super-competitive Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum lies third, also for Germany, ahead of Australia's Edwina Alexander in fourth place. McLain Ward flies the American flag in fifth, and such is the spread of national representation that riders from 11 different countries are included in the top-20. For over 50 years Rolex has been partnered with equestrian sport in a variety of ways, and the world-renowned Swiss watch-making company has developed a particularly close relationship with jumping riders through its sponsorship of the world rankings. Timing, precision, robustness and longevity are all key elements of classic Rolex timepieces – qualities also key to the success of the jumping horses and riders competing in the FEI's most popular discipline.

Watch now Your video viewing experience on is now even better with the introduction of flash technology. This exciting improvement allows horsesport fans using Mac software to now get access to all the live broadcasts, the many hours of highlights as well as the extensive video on demand archive from the world’s most prestigious equestrian competitions. It will also significantly enhance the video quality for all viewers. Find out the schedules and broadcast times at

At just 17 years of age, Melanie Becker (NED) won the FEI World Driving Pony Championships in the singles division – a great achievement for a first experience at a World Championships and when faced with more experienced and mature competitors. When it comes to experience and maturity, Chile’s Americo Simonetti, last seen competing in the Nations Cup in Argentina last year at the age of 82, is definitely the one to watch.

You’re never too old or too young to reach for the stars…

Gold for Hungary at the SIEC FEI World Youth Series Regional Final. In its inaugural season, the SIEC-FEI World Youth Series sponsored by Vista saw twenty four aspiring young riders from six nations attend the regional final in Turkey. It was a close finish for Turkey, only just beaten by Hungary in a nail biting thriller, while Romania neatly slotted into third place.

How Much Better Can it Get? It's been a record breaking rollercoaster ride these past few months for Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas. Having already shattered the Freestyle record set by teammate Van Grunsven in July, the pair went on to achieve the impossible, picking up 29 excellent -10 scores to finish with an all time Freestyle record of 90.70% in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Alltech FEI European Championships in Windsor. Can it get any better than that?

Exclusive interviews and in depth analysis on Clean Sport and the road ahead.

In the next issue of FEI FOCUS

Stars in their eyes - the winners of the first ever FEI Awards. This is Your Magazine, and we want Your input, so give us a call or email to be a part of FEI FOCUS.

The indoor season at its best – highlights from the Rolex FEI World Cup™ and FEI World Cup™ qualifiers.

Reining in Germany and Vaulting in Malawi and much more…



Michael Jung made a big impact when winning at Luhmuehlen on his 4-Star debut and then topping the final of the HSBC FEI Eventing World Cup™ series in Poland this season. The 27 year old German event rider talks with Edith de Reys about the things that are important to him, including friendship and family…

The other Side of…

© Julia Rau

Home is… in Altheim, Horb-am-Neckar. It is in the German state of Badem-Wurttemberg on the northern perimeter of the Black Forest. It is a very idyllic and quiet place, with a wonderful environment.

When I was a child I dreamed of…

The qualities I most admire in other poeple are… honesty and light-heartedness – jolly people are great!

What makes me laugh… funny people and those silly, funny moments.

nothing else but riding and working with horses.

I'm inspired by… nature – and horses of course.

Family is… everything to me. All of my family are involved with me in my business – we are like a family company! They support me in every way possible.

I'm motivated by… the people around me.

When I'm not on a horse I like to… swim, surf and go mountain-climbing. It makes a great contrast to what I do every day with the horses and I have a lot of friends who enjoy doing those things with me.

I like to read… equestrian magazines.

My favourite food is…

It saddens me… that we can't live together in peace in this world.

When I am on holiday I like to… spend lots of time with my friends. I don't have much free time so spending time with them is very important to me.

If I could be reborn I would like to be… Horst Schlaemmer (German comedian and political satirist).

If I could change one The greatest hope is… thing in the world it for health and happiness, both for myself and would be… all my family. I love Italian food and also a really nice steak !

to bring peace to it.



On the Hoof… With the future We have recently launched a brand new website to celebrate the start of the FEI's Year of Youth. The Year of Youth will spotlight all elements of youth equestrianism in the runup and beyond the first ever Youth Olympic Games in 2010.

Alex & Julia Check out the website for exclusive blogs, photographs and video, and a chance to share stories and be part of the Year of Youth. We're developing a unique equestrian search engine for all your horserelated queries and the site will constantly be updated with new information and resources for young equestrian athletes and fans. While the website is there to provide all the latest information, we'd like to encourage young people to join in with the conversation online via Facebook, Twitter and many more. We want to hear about your experiences as an equestrian, encourage you to share advice with other enthusiasts and find out what you expect from the sport in the future.

They may be tough and competitive in the Jumping arena, but catch them out side of it and you’ll be pleasantly surprised…

Focused on the future Russia’s Nikita Khrenov may only be 15, but he’s determined to make a career in horsesport.

Of cats, dogs and horses… Enjoying the show at the FEI European Jumping Championships for Young Riders in Hoofdorp (NED).

Riding boots or ballet shoes… Aysha Al Qaoud (KUW), recently made that important decision and has now hung up her dancing shoes to concentrate wholly on her number one sport – show jumping.

All star female cast Jumping podium of the FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships: Joelle Froese (bronze), Kaitlyn Campbell (gold) and Lucy Davis (silver).


The sky’s the limit The Swedish vaulting team on home turf at the FEI European Vaulting Championships.


On the Hoof… With the future

FEI YEAR OF YOUTH on the web

Technicolour Two Austrian Vaulters inconspicuously blend in with the background…

Follow us on Twitter for instant updates on the Year of Youth website, useful links and updates from events. Be part of our thriving Facebook group to talk and share tips with fellow equestrians around the world. Check out our event photographs and videos on Flickr and YouTube and tag your own with "FEIYOY" so we can feature them. Go to for more details and to find links to all our profiles online.

It’s in the genes Fifteen year old Graham Gillespie is already making his mark on the international scene.

Stand up and be counted Matthew (GBR)

The Dressage winners at the FEI European Pony Championships in Moorsele this summer.

Nadia and Regitze (SWE)

When the pressure’s off… Martin (DEN)

Samy (FRA)

The many faces of horsesport

If you’re young and dedicated to equestrian sport, there are hours and hours of training, sacrifice, early mornings, late nights, and hardships – but there’s also a lot to be learnt, adventure at every corner, suspense and the sweet sensation of success…

Mohamed (EGY)



Golden Lady in Red

Joanne Eccles For the Past Five Years The trio of vaulter Joanne Eccles, lunger John Eccles and magnificent bay WH Bentley have been synonymous with elegance and grace on the international vaulting scene, but 2009 has been the most sensational of all, with a string of gold medal performances in the lead up to the Europeans in Sweden.

There were high expectations for the Lady in Red at the FEI European Vaulting Championships in Bokeborg (SWE) this year… For the twenty year old dentistry student from Glasgow University, it was an unforgettable and life defining moment.

Shine so Bright

© Liz Gregg

The arena was at fever pitch, as all Vaulting events, the crowd is omnipresent and can be heard for miles around, boosting the performances of the vaulters, lungers and horses. Enter Joanna Eccles, her impeccably dressed father John, and WH Bentley, like another member of the family – hard working and down to earth. Joanne’s style of vaulting which combines an apparently faultless balance with gymnastic prowess added to her enthralling Lady in Red Freestyle set the house on fire, the crowds cheered wildly, and the sport of Vaulting had its first ever British European title holder.

It’s a Family Affair “It’s just amazing the way my whole family are involved. There aren’t a lot of groups out there like us. My Dad and my sister and me compete all in competitions. Then my mum comes along to watch and sometimes my brother might drive the lorry to the event.” Joanne started vaulting at 8 years of age in a small club in Scotland and became the flyer of the Scottish Equestrian Vaulting Team in 1998. “The farm we live on is where my Dad grew up, so when he was younger his sisters all had horses and he told himself, ‘I’m never having a horse’. But then, he came to see me at my first international vaulting event, and was hooked as well, so we got a horse! It all started from there really, and now we have four horses and run a vaulting club – the Wee County Vaulters!” To find out more, check out Joanne’s blog at See her winning performance on FEI TV.



Mighty Megan's long Adventure

Wife and mother, pony producer and former Head of Geography at a London Girls School, Megan Lewis has already packed a lot into her journey through life. But this is not a lady who rests on her laurels or does things on a small

scale. Last October the 60 year old Welsh-based wonderwoman began a charity ride in Beijing that will take her all the way to London just in time for the 2012 Olympic Games…

Megan Lewis was straining at the leash. The schedule for The Long Ride had been dramatically interrupted by a fall three months earlier which had left her with a broken collarbone and ribs as well as a punctured lung. It was now August, so how was she feeling about heading back to China to pick up where she had left off ? "Impatient, very impatient, and ridiculously well" was her reply. Saying goodbye to the green hills of her Welsh farm was not a problem for this woman who has maintained a passionate interest in Asia since living there as a child. She is realising a dream as she combines her sense of adventure with her experience of endurance riding and her desire to raise funds for her husband, Iestyn Thomas's, charity "Schoolchildren for Children".

Initially she planned to break the journey into "four or five sections" but she quickly ran into problems with access in China. "Logistically and bureaucratically it was difficult, but with the help of the Chinese Equestrian Association we got authorisation early this year" she pointed out. There was a lot to get organised - grazing, camping, a back-up vehicle and of course horses. "I was delighted when a sponsor donated Shandan horses. They are tough little fellows developed in the last 100 years for the Chinese Army and will be getting the best of care and attention" she said. Together with her cousin, Rowena Haigh, she set off in October 2008. "We started at the end of the Great Wall – Lao Long Tou (Old Dragon's Head) where it meets the sea – and rode inland – it was a trial section to see how things worked. It took just under three weeks and there were a lot of setbacks, but nothing that couldn't be overcome" Megan explained. They then returned to Britain to drum up sponsorship for the longer term and things really began to fall into place when the Chinese Federation agreed a partnership arrangement and they were contacted by rider Peng Wenchao. 40

"He's a former taxi driver from Beijing who rode and drove around China on Mongolian horses" she explained. She would also be joined by Hi Jing, who is Chinese with Russian nationality and another one-off character who rode from Votkinsk in Russia to Beijing but failed to arrive in time for last summer's Olympic Games. "It didn't stop him from getting a lot of publicity though!" Megan explained. So these two men, both in their late 40s, and the 60 year old Welsh woman would form the core group. They were only nine days into the second leg of the journey however when Megan took that heavy fall. Undaunted, by August she was planning to make it to the far end of the Great Wall on the next leg of the expedition. From there she will cross the Northern Silk Route, Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, through Russia, The Urkraine and Europe before arriving in London in 2012. "We intend to cover about 25 miles a day – and the British Federation has helped to put us in touch with organisations who will assist us along the way" Megan pointed out. Her first financial target is a modest £ 5000. She was thinking about the months ahead – "We will literally be starting again from where I fell off and we will be travelling over completely unknown territory because you can't get detailed maps of China. I hope the next section won't take more than four months because I want to be home for Christmas!" she said. If you log onto you will see great pictures of Megan, Peng and Li with their horses Shandan, Baiju and Zorbee who have been re-shod with rubber shoes. They are at the moments of writing this article 11111 kilometres from Beijing. Keep up to date with the big adventure and information on how to donate on


Marwari Breed

The Lost Horses of Rajputana

Rajasthan in India is home to the Marwari horse and to the family of Raghuvendra Singh Dundlod known to all as Bonnie. Originally a branch of the Jaipur Royal family, Bonnie’s forebears have lived in the Shekhawati area since it was named for their ancestor Rao Shekha. Their family home is an eighteenth century fort in the village of Dundlod. Marwari horses, with their distinctive inwardly curved, lyre shaped ears, have always played an important role in Rajathstan culture. In the Hindu religion the horse is divine, and the Marwari breed with its noble imposing nature does little to detract from that possibility. Originally brought to India by Ghengis Khan and his Mongul invaders from the north, the breed takes its name from the Marwar region. Literally meaning ‘the land of death’ as the land was so harsh, and the people so warlike, the Marwari were originally bred for battle. The horses’ unique twisting ears warned their warrior riders of impending threats in battle whilst protecting them from the clouds of dust that scour the region. This provenance has resulted in a very hardy and intelligent breed renowned for both their bravery and stamina.

With such an auspicious history it is strange that the Marwari horse is almost never found outside India. It was during the British rule of the sub-continent that the horse lost its position at the top of the Indian equine tree. The colonial authorities, realising that the horse was a symbol of royalty and power, convinced the Indian rulers and the Maharajahs that the breed was a bit wild, too temperamental, too energetic and certainly not suitable for ladies. As a result the horse moved out of the palaces and the royal estates and went to the saises, or grooms, to look after, and the grooms took them home to their farms. After 1947, in a post-colonial India, the breed fared no better with the new Government also seeing horses as a symbol of former dynastic eras. It was only in the 1980s when the concept of tourism grew in Rajathstan and heritage tourism began to see historic palaces and forts opening their doors to offer a glimpse of former times, that families like Bonnie’s started to hunt out the remaining Marwari horses and once more start breeding programmes.

© Liz Gregg



Marwari Breed After so long in the shadows much of the confirmation in the breed had been lost, but in time, with the unstinting support and encouragement of people like Bonnie, the Marwari is back. The Indigenous Horse Society of India (IHSI) was formed in 1999 to protect and upgrade their breeding programme to ensure the Marwari never again disappears from the limelight.

Today tourism riding is the core activity of the breed. Rajathstan’s beautiful landscape, partnered with its welcoming culture and heritage, has proved a great magnet for the horseback tourist and the Marwari has certainly played its part.

Footage of Marwari Horses available on FEI TV

Secretary General of the Indian Federation – Col. Sarpartap Singh.



Marwari Breed

In equestrian sport the breed has always been synonymous with Tentpegging – unsurprisingly as it too has a warring heritage – and in more recent times has seen success in India in Endurance with its natural stamina and hardiness. There are issues to exporting the Marwari from India, which must be overcome if the breed is to succeed in equestrian sport worldwide, but Bonnie and his IHSI colleagues are continually working with the Indian Government to overcome them. Their aim is to restore the Marwari to its former glory in a modern equestrian world, and they see sporting competition as one road to achieving that position and securing the breed’s future. If the horse’s stoic history and reputation in Rajathstan is anything to go by it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Marwari competing internationally sometime in the near future.


Raghuvendra Singh Dundlod known to all as Bonnie.


Lyndsey Jordan A Life in a Day You need real stamina and determination to juggle studies and sport, and that's exactly what Lyndsey Jordan, a Kentucky native, does. On a full equestrian scholarship at Auburn University, Lyndsey fell in love with Reining at an early age and has never looked back – so when she's not buried in her books, she's a fierce and highly acclaimed competitor in the arena. At 21 years of age, she's already a two time USEF Gold Medallist (2005 & 2009), has two National Reining Horse World titles and just recently claimed gold at the 2009 Collegiate Reining Championships after being chosen as one of the top 12 collegiate riders in the country!

During term time, my days are run on a really tight schedule. It all starts at 5 am, I wake up and get ready for training, which consists of aerobic exercise such as running and weights training for 1 hour. It's a real bonus training as a team, because we all motivate each other and stay focused, no matter how early in the day…

I don't get much time to train with my own horses during term time as they are in Texas, a good 14 hours drive away. And it's only when we don't have a team competition on the weekend that I'm able to train and even compete individually with them. I've had a really successful year though with both the team horses and my own – I recently won gold at the North American Young Rider Championships in Kentucky, in the new arenas built for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, and that was a great reward for all the hard work.

© Waltenberry

After training, a quick shower and breakfast on the run and I'm ready for class which starts at 8am. I'm in my final year of a Communications major, so this year is crucial – I'd really love to find a job in marketing / communications within the equestrian sector when I leave next year. Classes go to around 12.30pm and then it's straight to practice with the equestrian team. There are around forty of us on the team, divided into the various disciplines, approximately half involved in the traditional Olympic disciplines and the other half with Western riding such as Reining. We usually train until 3.30pm and that entails prepping the team horses – we have 50 at the moment – riding and then more grooming.

Once training is done around 3:30pm, I'll shower, get changed and then have dinner and study till I literally fall asleep – probably around 8 or 9pm… ready to do it all over again, because at the end of the day, no matter how exhausted I get – I am really fortunate to be doing something I love, and I'm going to work as hard as it takes to keep it up.


Postcard from Uruguay How did you get started in equestrian sport? I started participating in equestrian activities when I was a child as I grew up in a rural zone of our country very influenced by horse sport in particular with regards to Endurance, which started in our country about 75 years ago.


Equestrian sport has been growing in Uruguay these past years, what has contributed to this trend and how do you go about ensuring that it maintains this momentum?

Federación Uruguaya de Deportes Ecuestres

President : Col. Roberto Abella Secretary General : Jorge Zeballos URU NF Headquarters staff is made up of 10 people: 4 Executive Board Members, 4 Disciplines Directors and 2 paid members for secretarial and administrative support. 11 Clubs/Riding Associations 630 competitors affiliated to the NF in Dressage, Eventing, Endurance & Jumping 51 National Events in 2008 (16 Dressage, 15 Jumping, 12 Endurance and 8 Eventing) 11 International Events in 2008 (6 Endurance, 2 Eventing, 1 FEI World Dressage Challenge, 1 FEI World Jumping Challenge, 1 Jumping Competition for Children) 1506 horses in Uruguay

Our country has unbeatable natural environment conditions and a long tradition related to horse activities. Within the past 10 years several different activities related to horses have had a great development in Uruguay. With regard to FEI disciplines there are two outstanding aspects : one related to the URU NF policies, tending to increase the number of children and young riders, improving and strengthening the training and encouraging them to reach higher level categories. In Endurance, a new sports horse market has been developed and the competitions results have contributed to the growth of this discipline. In order to ensure this growth continuity, the URU NF is working towards the professionalization and training of coaches, riders, stewards, judges, veterinarians and organisers, thus enabling the disciplines to improve their competitive levels.


eration in 2010 and why? The URU NF has a strong determination to ensure that equestrian sports continue to grow not only in number but also in quality. We aim to have a good performance in our selected combinations at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ and to put our country in a privileged place worldwide in equestrian sports. We will continue to encourage the strong relationship between the Regional countries, in order to strengthen each other and to improve our respective competitive levels through sporting exchange. If you weren’t working in horsesport, where and what do

Our participation in the URU NF does not prevent us from developing other activities, then jointly with our dedication to equestrian sports we work in our companies, our jobs, we participate in social activities, among others. I cannot imagine myself doing something else but contributing to this sport.

you think you would be doing?

The FEI Year of Youth was launched in August and will run from August 2009 – August 2010 leading up to the first

In ten years time, where do you see equestrian sport in

Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, does Youth play an


important role at URU NF and what are the key messages

Interview with Jorge Zeballos

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

you want to pass on to the future equestrian athletes?

Youth is the main concern of the URU NF, we are deeply aware that they are the future of this sport for our country and we need to ensure its growth and improvement. We must encourage young riders in their sportive vocation ; teaching them that a good sportsman / sportswoman must be responsible and respectful, they must get to know that working hard and with dedication they may reach their goals; that the horse is a friend and also an athlete, that they certainly will not reach the aim without it and that its welfare is above all.

I think that if the medium and long term planning and aims are kept we will be able to expand the sport nationally to a very high level, in line with the exceptional potential of our riders and horses. Internationally, I should hope that our Endurance combinations become medal contenders at big international events.


Alltech Tips

The Healthy Equine: Reining in the Benefits of Antioxidant Nutrition THE NATURAL SELENIUM CYCLE

By Dr. Helen Warren Technical Co-Ordinator, Solutions Deployment Team, Alltech In recent times the topic of free radicals and the influence of nutrition on these potentially damaging molecules has received much media attention. However, this topical issue is not just of relevance to humans; our equine companions can also suffer free radical damage, which can be mitigated by a diet rich in antioxidants. Oxygen is an essential part of mammalian life. Despite this, there are detrimental effects of generating energy from oxygen i.e. the production of free radicals, small but very reactive molecules that cause damage to body tissues. However, the body has developed mechanisms to minimise their effects, including the utilisation of antioxidants. Thus, the overall effect of free radicals depends on the scale of their production coupled with the efficiency of the animal’s antioxidant response. This first line of defence involves mineral-containing enzymes, including superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidise and catalase, to name but a few and minerals, such as zinc, manganese and copper play key roles in this part of the body’s defence. Selenium (Se) is a component of around 25 proteins, including glutathione peroxidise. These selenoproteins have major roles in metabolism and rely on the availability of Se in the body and/or diet. Se also plays a role in the immune system, gene expression, thyroid metabolism and male fertility. Therefore, adequate Se status in the horse is vital for optimum health and performance. Many areas of Europe have soils that are classed as Se-deficient (esp. Scandinavia) and the Se content of common feedstuffs is around 0.01 – 0.3mg/kg. Therefore, it is common place to fortify feed with


inorganic Se, usually as sodium selenite (NaSe). A random analysis of 12 horses carried out at the Nottingham University School of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery in the UK revealed that only one of the horses had what would be considered ‘normal’ (1.67 – 2.03μM) plasma selenium levels and three horses were considered at risk from muscular dystrophy problems. While this sample is obviously very small it is believed that these results would be mirrored on a larger scale. In the US, 202 horses were blood sampled for Se status. They found that values ranged from 50 – 260ng/ml, where normal is considered 130 – 160ng/ml. So it would seem that all that would be required would be to increase the level of supplementation of NaSe. In reality this is not the case as inorganic Se (as well as other minerals) is poorly absorbed by the digestive tract and not readily stored in the body, resulting in very low, if any, Se reserves. There is, however, an alternative. Selenium that is absorbed from organic sources, such as selenium yeast can be incorporated into either selenoenzymes or general proteins in the body as storage for future use. This enables the animal to build Se reserves for times of stress, such as foaling, illness and high intensity exercise. Exercise may be of particular importance with regards to Exertional Rhabdomyolysis (Tying-up, Azoturia). Many studies have shown greater incorporation of Se from an organic source, e.g. Sel-Plex® (Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCMI-3060) from Alltech, into body tissues compared with NaSe. This is because organic Se is the form that the mammalian body has evolved to use. The body recogises this form and it is absorbed and incorporated into the body much more effectively.

Se reserves – foaling, lactation, disease challenges


Stored in body tissues Converted to organic selenium by plant

Organic Se Inorganic Se



Organic Se Converted to organic selenium by plant

Inorganic Se

NOT stored in body tissues

No reserves for times of metabolic stress

Aside from the physiological benefits of organic compared with inorganic Se sources, there is also the issue of toxicity. Sodium selenite is toxic to mammals over certain levels and, as such Feed Additive Directive 70/524/EC states maximum supplementation should be 0.5mg/kg in complete feeds with current dietary recommendations at 0.1mg/kg of the ration. The toxicity of NaSe is in contrast to organic selenium as selenium yeast, for example no toxic level has been found for Sel-Plex. Horses are very sensitive to Se levels and develop signs of toxicity more quickly than other animals, such as cows, for example, therefore, the potential for organic selenium is vast.

Zinc, copper and manganese are also minerals of importance when it comes to antioxidant status. All act as co-factors (helpers) of antioxidant enzymes, thus availability of these minerals in the diet has an impact on the overall antioxidant status of the horse. As with Se, the body requires adequate levels that can be called upon when required. As discussed previously, the form in which the mineral is supplied in the diet is important and should mirror the form that animals have evolved to utilise. It is generally accepted that dietary components that are attached to organic molecules are more bioavailable compared with those attached to inorganic molecules. Certain minerals, including zinc, copper and manganese can be attached to amino acids resulting in a stable, water-soluble complex (some of these complexes may also be termed 'chelates') that is readily absorbed from the intestine. Inorganic mineral complexes are subject to interaction with other compounds that may reduce the bioavailability of the mineral to the animal. Chelated minerals, such as those found in Alltech’s Bioplex® range have shown considerable improvements in the amount of mineral retained by the horse. Antioxidants are key to minimising the continual threat of damage by free radicals. This is especially important for equine, as well as human, athletes. Many minerals are involved in the antioxidation process and an optimal supply is crucial to maintain optimal health and performance. Supplying these minerals ‘as nature intended’ is the most effective way to ensure the antioxidant status of the horse.


The Road to 2010 For more information, visit

Ready to Host the World in 2010 The world’s most prestigious equestrian competition is coming to the horse capital of the world, and your chance to join the celebration is drawing near. In 2010, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ will be held outside of Europe for the first time in history at the world-renowned Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. The 16 days of international competition will be held September 25 through October 10, 2010. Eight world-championships willbe contested in one location, another first in Games history, at the 1200 acre Kentucky Horse Park – a premier worldclass equestrian facility ideal for hosting this unprecedented event.

The 2010 Games will be the most prestigious equestrian event to ever be held in the United States, and the second largest sporting event held in North America in 2010, second to the Vancouver Olympics. Tickets went on sale September 25, 2009, exactly one year before the Games arrive in Kentucky. Approximately 600000 tickets will be available with prices starting as low as $25. All ticket sales will be facilitated through Ticketmaster, the Official Ticketing Provider of the 2010 Games.


Ticket holders to the 2010 Games will also be able to enjoy a host of world-class activities and exhibitions during their visit, including an extensive international trade show, the Kentucky Experience, complete with bourbon tasting, an Equine Village complete with demonstrations from different breed and discipline organisations, and Alltech’s International Pavilion with daily displays and entertainment. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the world’s most prestigious equestrian competition in the horse capital of the world. Spon-sorship, tradeshow and hospitality packages are still available.

rolex fei world cup™ jumping october 2009 to april 2010 all roads lead to geneva

Minutes before the start of each competition, riders walk the course, methodically pacing off the exact distance between one jump and the next. The ritual is something to behold as precision defines the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping. Season-long trials put riders and horses through an artful but challenging test. These intense, indoor events are qualifying rounds that bring the best of the best to Geneva to compete in the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Final. A conclusion that is easier said than done.


FEIFocus_FEI_09_09.indd 1

24.09.09 16:22

Spotlight on Youth October 2009

October 2009

Allix Jones

Globetrotting – Page 24

The Other Side of

Micheal Jung – Page 32

Marwari Breed

The lost horses of Rajputana – Page 42

Fei focus 2

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