Every year, during the third week of Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, USPRE holds its special week. For four days, the PRE horse is the sole protagonist. International breeders, elite riders, well known personalities from the equestrian community and general enthusiasts gather to celebrate the PRE horse of Spain.
USPRE Week 2023 took place during January 24 to 28 and once again, all the activities were specially dedicated to this outstanding horse, which is the main purpose of the USPRE Association: to promote this breed in the United States.
Celebrity Speaker Juan Juan Manuel Muñoz
The week kicked off with the first part of the clinic of Olympic rider Juan Manuel Muñoz.
Jaime Amian with Hechicero CLX, Lori Bruno with Holzagan, Micah Deligdish, with Especial, Barb Shannahan along with Aero, Carly Costello with Ebanisto KR, Sandra Luebbe with Fetiche and Raquel Rizutto with Quinto MG received priceless tips and advice. Spectators were able to observe and learn about different methods of training: from a young horse up to a Grand Prix level.
Later that evening a welcome cocktail for USPRE members was held poolside at the International Polo Club. Among those present were Milton Valle, Yvonne Losos de Muñiz, Phil and Sandi Merril, Carmen Franco, Karina Pau, Marco Bernal, Juan Manuel Muñoz, Javier Ruiz, Dr. Jane Bistline, Tom Reed, Kathy Priest, Marc Ulanowski, Dr. Michael Kohl, among others.
Clinics: Classical Warm-Up
Four activities were held on Wednesday morning. Javier Ruiz opened the morning and explained the ingredients of his magical recipe advocating the classical warm-up of the trained PRE horse. He insisted on several points, but most of all to have control on your horse’s body.
"The horse's body is an accordion. You as a rider, you have to be able to play in different positions with your horse: low, up, whatever you want to do with it,"
After, Juan Manuel Muñoz continued with another seminar and provided insights for the development of the young PRE horse. One of the sentences he stressed was: "For a PRE it is really important to be open in the neck."
After the two riding sessions, USPRE members had the opportunity to attend two educational seminars, at the beautiful premises of Dr. Jane Bistline’s Horses and Hounds farm.
Dr. Robert P. Boswell DMV, PA shared his knowledge and experience regarding the prevention, treatment, and risks of laminitis specific to the PRE. Next, Dr. Mary Beth Gordon (Purina Senior Director, Equine Technical Innovation) explained the most common equine nutrition myths and offered different steps to organize the nutrition of the baroque-conformation horse:
- Control cool season pasture
- Avoid high-calorie hay and grain intake
- Balance Diet with Low sugar/starch feed
Training Tools from Munoz
On Thursday, Juan Manuel Muñoz continued with the second part of the clinic, where he gave invaluable insights and many training tools particularly benefiting the PRE horse.
Around noon, all dressage enthusiast gathered around to watch the CDI4* Grand Prix sponsored by USPRE at the premises of Adequan Global Dressage Festival. German rider, Frederic Wandres riding Bluetooth OLD earned the blue ribbon with a score of 74.326%.
Several PREs and their riders competed at the international levels that weekend for both the US and Spain, finishing in the ribbons in all their classes to the special delight of the USPRE week attendants.
Later on Thursday, USPRE members got together for an elegant dinner at the Wellington International Club (WEF). The dinner brought more than 50 loyal members. Dr. Jane Bistline, president of USPRE, gave a brief speech highlighting the great year of USPRE.
Once the dinner was over, special prizes were awarded and presented to its deserving members.
The winners were:
- Mare of the Year: Bruma SA - Yeguada Salvador Arriaga
- Stallion of the Year: Kimal del Encanto - Rancho El Encanto
- Functionality Champion: Hacendado GD - Rancho El Afortunado
- Breeder of the Year: Rancho El Encanto
- Equestrian of the Year: Bacilio Mejia
- Horse and Rider of the Year: Sophia Schults and Conocido HGF
- Member of the Year: Francisco Gramajo
- Special Recognition: Founding Board Member Janne Rumbough
Under the Lights
On Friday, USPRE members had a little rest after three days of non-stop activities. Nevertheless, when the sun came down, the PRE horse took the spotlight Under the lights at the 4* Freestyle. From the beginning, USPRE has been one of the founding sponsors of Adequan Global Dressage Festival. During the break on Friday night, two PRE exhibitions were dedicated to the audience.
The up-tempo baroque music of “Heart of Courage” from Two Steps from Hell was the soundtrack for Javier Ruiz Garrido and Zagal B (bred by Yeguada Bassols and owned by Dr. Jane Bistline). The Spanish rider from the Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre de Jerez took ownership of the International arena at Global, where he executed beautiful high school and dressage movements. The spectacular dance with an intricate series of exercises mesmerized the audience.
Spanish rider, Juan Francisco Fernández Muñoz together with Ulises JV II (bred by Yeguada Juan Vazquez and owned by Precisions Andalusians) executed a superb entrance in passage at the rhythm of pop beats. His movements flowed perfectly with the music. Juan chained one movement after another one with great precision, and the combination with the music resulted in a marvellous performance.
Round Table Discussion
Last but not least, the activity that concluded the week was a round table discussion featuring prominent professionals in the PRE world. Hosted by Kimberly Van Kampen, international Breeders from Guatemala and Costa Rica, Christian Moll and Jose Chavarria respectively, Olympic riders; Yvonne Losos de Muñiz, Juan Manuel Muñoz and FEI5* judge, Janet Foy participated in the panel.
The debate revolved around two central themes: the new tendencies for breeding for sport and the continuously improving role of the PRE in world-class competitive dressage. The attendees gave their various perspectives but all concluded by emphasizing the importance of focusing on the training of the young horses.
The PRE has been attached to art and history throughout the centuries for its beauty, for its delicate and elegant movements that compliment so well its gorgeous natural looks; and more and more the horse is being recognized for its performances in the dressage and sport scene.
In this edition of USPRE WEEK a large number of fans and lovers of the breed gathered around this fascinating animal. A “one of a kind” week in which once more the PRE horses have been the epicentre of the equestrian capital by excellence.
Text and Photos © Lily Forado for www.usprea.org
USPRE Week is Back for 2023
The 10 reasons why you shouldn’t miss USPRE WEEK 2023
The Wisdom of Sabine Schut-Kery and Elegance of the PRE during USPRE Week 2022
2021 USPRE WEEK Did Not Lose its Spanish Soul
USPRE Activities Set the Arena on Fire during 2020 USPRE Week
USPRE Week 2019: The P.R.E Horse Steals the Spotlight
Wellington Celebrates the Dancing PRE Horse During 2018 USPRE Week
The Majesty of the Pure Spanish Horse Celebrated during USPRE Week 2018
A Magical Week for PRE Lovers During 2017 USPRE Week in Wellington
Juan Manuel Munoz, Speaker at 2016 USPRE Week in Wellington
Spanish Delegation to Attend 2015 USPRE Week, Lead Seminars for Breeders