British FEI rider and five-time national champion Gemma Greengot engaged to her boyfriend of five years, Nathan Appleton, during Christmas holiday. The later surprised Gemma with a present. "Inside, there was a small wrapped box and as I opened that Nathan got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! It was unreal," an ecstatic Gemma wrote in her Horse Hero blog. "Of course I said yes and what can I say…three years of pushing him to pop the question and he does it when I’m least expecting it! It was worth the wait. We hope to set a date later in the year." 28-year old Appleton is a registered Farrier. He trained with Gary Pickford and is a specialist in remedial work. He worked with Rob Renirie in Holland when he first met Gemma to find the best ways to be shoeing her horses. Congratulations to the lovely couple!!
Johannes Westendarp sold his young 3-year old Hanoverian stallion Belstaff (by Brentano II x De Niro x Weltmeyer) to Danish stallion owners Andreas Helgstrand and Jens Peter Aggessen. Horse2Rider reported that Belstaff will be presented for licensing to the Danish warmblood society in March. For the 2010 breeding season, Belstaff will remain in Germany and stand at stud at Gestut Böckmann.
At the annual Italian Horse Owners' Gala Ball (APICE) on 8 February 2010, Italian Grand Prix rider Silvia Rizzo was proclaimed "Italian Dressage Owner of the Year 2009" for her ownership in Blickpunt. Rizzo's 5-year old Westfalian gelding by Belissimo M x Weltmeyer won the bronze medal at the 2009 World Championships for Young Dressage Horses and the gold medal at the 2009 Bundeschampionate with the second highest score ever achieved by a dressage horse. Congratulations!!
Totilas' stud fee has been officially set at5500 euro. This EXCLUDES VAT. The full fee has to be paid before insemination and if the mare is not in foal after three rounds, only 25% of the fee will be reimbursed.
In response to our article of Harry Boldt celebrating his 80th birthday, a reader emailed us to say that we forgot to mention that besides winning numerous medals, Boldt also wrote the most complete dressage manuel every written: "Das Dressur Pferd". "It's such a pity that this book is no longer available new. I'm still reading a 'loaner' until I find a good second hand copy," this fan mailed.
The Luxembourg FEI Dressage Pony Lordy has been sold to Germany. The young German boy Constantin Pistner will be competing Lordy, which was previously campaigned by Nicolas Wagner, and before that by Dutch Marit van Roy.
Jorgen Olsen sold his 7-year old Hanoverian stallion Electric (by Epikur x Weltmeyer) to the Danish Grand Prix rider Helene Melsen. The black stallion is licensed with the Hanoverian verband.
Anabel Balkenhol admitted to Eurodressage that she is giving her father a hard time for the moment. Round New Year Anabel had to undergo two surgeries and was not allowed to ride. Her 70-year old father now has the daily obligation to ride seven of Anabel's horses. "I'm keeping him fit," she joked. Anabel will return to the show ring at the 2010 CDI Hagen at the end of April.
Madeleine Witte-Vrees' small tour horse Patser has been euthanized. The big bay gelding was recently retired from competition due to a recurring tendon injury, but now even retirement in the field was impossible. One buck could make the tendon tear completely so it was decided to put him down.
Belgian FEI rider Michelle Vettenburg has a new Grand Prix horse to ride, the French bred licensed stallion Hostens de Bel (by Donnerschlag x Livarot). He was a triple French young horse champion and made his way to Grand Prix under Sylvie Corellou.
And more Grand Prix horses are moving to Belgium. The 12-year old licensed Grand Prix stallion Rubinrot (by Rubinstein x Insider), which recently sold to the Danish Per and Lotte Skjærbæk of Priess Stutteri,has been acquired by the Belgian dressage rider Daphne Vandenplas. This Belgian newcomer is currently in Denmark getting to know her horse and will then return to her home country where she will be supervised by Domien Michiels and Arjen Teeuwissen. Vandenplas also owns a small tour horse.
The internationally renowned equestrian facility Den Goubergh in Roosendaal, The Netherlands, has been sold to a shoe sales agent, Mr. Van der Pluijm. Previous owner Jan Willem André de la Porte sold the farm to Van der Pluijm who wants to make a competition yard out of it. All the horses and ponies used for the normal riding lessons will move to Rotterdam and about three hundred adults and children suddenly have to look for a new farm where they can ride at. Den Goubergh was the location of many international youth rider competitions and Dutch national dressage shows.
In response to the story we posted on the S-level dressage Haflinger Stardust 7 Margin, Canadian Olympic dressage rider Evi Strasser wrote us that her first pony wasalso a Haflinger. "My Haflinger "Dagi" also went up to S-level and she could even piaffe and passage and did tempi changes," the Bavarian born Strasser told Eurodressage. "When I was 15 years old I rode her in a show program at the Munich Horse Show where Lady Diana and Prince Charles were watching. Dagi won tons of L and M level dressage tests against warmbloods, but at that time I wasn't allowed to show a pony at S-level. I rode her until she was 20-years old."
Photo © Dirk Caremans