What's Happening: June 2008 - Part 1

Tue, 06/10/2008 - 00:00
What's Happening in the Dressage World?
Pernilla Andre and Johan Hokfelt got married

The Swedish dressage rider and young horse specialist Pernilla André got married on May 31, 2008, to Johan Hokfelt. The wedding took place in the church of V Hoby, Sweden, and the couple's family and best friends were attending. One of the wedding presents Pernilla got was a beautifully framed photo of her on Ann Westling's Wennica finishing second in the consolation finals at the 2007 World Championships for Young Dressage Horses in Verden. Pernilla has her stable in the small village of V Hoby (just outside Lund), where she is the 13th generation on the farm! She is currently in the running to qualify Wennica (by Longchamp) again for the 2008 World Young Horse Championships. Her name will now be Pernilla André Hokfelt.Nadine Capellmann just let us know that she has been completely inundated with responses to the Working Student advertisement she ran on Eurodressage. She would like to ask that applicants are patient so that she can review all inquiries. Nadine wrote us the following: "So far, the response to the ad has been absolutely overwhelming. I am very flattered, not only by the sheer mass of replies I keep receiving, but also by all those glimpses at interesting and promising personalities.At the same time, I had to focus on the first Olympic qualifier for the German dressage team, which took place in Balve last weekend. So, while I can understand everyone's wish for a swift reply, I hope you'll understand in turn that I want to read all those applications with the thoroughness they deserve. Please bear with me, I will get back to everyone."

Editor's Note: When we ran the working student advertisement for Danish team rider Fie Skarsoe, she and her employer Tanya Kayser told us they got 102 responses from all over the world!! Wow, our grooms and riders service is a major hit!

After almost two years of frustration brought on by a series of seemingly unrelated ailments, Dutch warmblood licensed stallion Sir Sinclair is back in the show ring. When Sir Sinclair won the 2006 version of Dressage at Lexington (VA) Prix St. George Challenge, his future seemed very bright. Not long after that show, Sir started to act as if something was wrong. Iron Spring Farm and his trained Belinda Wertman left no stone unturned (or so they thought) trying to get to the root of his discomfort. "Sir has always been a brave, willing horse, so we knew that it had to be something serious or he would have shrugged it off. Chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, tea leaves, reiki, X-rays, aroma therapy, New Bolton, sonography, a visit from the men in white coats, and even a very odd recording of Buddhist monks chanting the Canadian National anthem had no positive effect. Then one day we began a serious dialogue about the possibilities of Lyme Disease," Bill Wertman explained. It has been a long and arduous treatment, recovery, and conditioning period, but it has more than paid off. Thanks to the dedication of Sir's owner, Mary Alice Malone, his rider Belinda, his devoted caregiver, groom and general co-enabler Jeanne Pakes, his favorite acupuncturist Sandy Perkowski, and especially his massage guru "The Amazing Martha Grace", Sir Sinclair is not only back in the ring, but winning at FEI Level again. At the regional show at Morven Park in Leesburg, VA, Belinda and Sir Sinclair started off with a win in the Qualifier Test for the Developing Horse Championship, with a score of 69.1 %.

British Olympic dressage rider and trainer Vicki Thompson and businessman Ian Winfield tied the knot on 26 April 2008 at Amberley Castle in West Sussex after an engagement of eight years. Ian, who owns Oldencraig Equestrian Centre in Lingfield, Surrey, and Vicki took their vows in front of 50 guests with numbers doubling for the evening celebrations. They will be taking their honeymoon later this year "after the competition season has finished". Vicki spent more than 20 years working with one of the chief riders of the Spanish Riding School, Franz Rochowansky, and now trains with Johan Hinneman. She has represented Britain at international level, riding at European Championships and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games as well as winning 13 national titles.

Dutch equestrian website Horses of the Dutch reported that Imke Schellekens-Bartels young NRPS stallion Aachen (by Arpeggio) has been gelded. The dark bay youngster was too much driven by his hormones and could not focus himself on dressage at competition. "Aachen wasn't mean or naughty, but he just could get around with himself," Imke told Horses. "During our first show, it was ok, at the second he was less focused and last weekend I had to retire because I could't get anything done from him. Aachen completely flipped and did not pay attention to me." In agreement with the owners, Aachen was gelded.

Henk van Bergen has signed on to be the featured presenter at the 2009 Succeed/USDF FEI-Level Trainers' Conference to be held January 18-19, 2009 in Loxahatchee, Florida.  Each year, USDF offers a trainers' conference to those individuals who meet the attendee criteria to learn training techniques and study with a world class dressage trainer. Born as the son of a baker in Nijmegen, Holland, Mr. van Bergen started his career as a groom at the local riding stable which he now owns and operates with his wife, Wilma.  This stable, Brakkenstein Dressage Stables, served as the host site of the Dutch National Championships, and as a home for his and his wife's riding and teaching.  
Van Bergen has coached the Dutch Dressage Team at both the 1972 and 1992 Olympic Games, the Japanese Dressage Team at the 1988 Olympic Games, and coached private students at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.  In 1988, he was also appointed the Dutch National Trainer and continues to give regular clinics in England, the United States, and Spain.

Anna Ross-Davies was named British Dressage's (BD) Personality of the Year at the BD 10th Birthday Ball. Anna thanked for her award via mobile phone link up live, as she was away competing at the CDI Lipica, Slovenia. "I'm absolutely thrilled. I'm chuffed to bits to have won and very grateful to all of those who voted," Anna Ross-Davies told Horse and Hound. "It was a bit of a shame not to have been there, and we had a frantic moment when we lost the mobile phone just before BD were due to call but it all worked out in the end. It's excellent." The nominated riders were Anna Ross-Davies, Jane Gregory and Gillian Green.