Lorraine Jackson

Best of JN: The Year of the Woman in Bordeaux?

Penelope Leprevost. PC: RB Presse

While the FEI Longines World Cup Grand Prix of Zurich was won last Sunday by a relatively unknown young woman – the 27-year-old Stephanie Holmen of Sweden – will this weekend’s Bordeaux leg still stay the private turf of men? Bordeaux remains, with the Olympics, the only major event not yet won by a woman in its forty year history.

Yet in all major national federations, women constitute between 70 – 90 % of the registered riders. But the closer we get to the international level, the more this proportion tends to be reversed: currently there are no women in the world’s top 10 and only 10% constitute the top 30.

However, women have managed on several occasions to win at the highest level: they have been European champions twice, World champion once, and winners of the World Cup seven times in forty years. Three of those World Cup wins came from Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, who is also the only woman to be the ranked world #1 on the FEI global rankings. Women have laid claim to every Grand Prix in the world at least once – except the Bordeaux’s World Cup.

No European female rider in the final?

This remains the eternal question: will the Bordeaux stronghold give a way this year to the female push? This year, only five women, out of forty qualified, will be at the start of the Jumping International Bordeaux. The game is not going to be easy for these ladies.

The best candidate may be Australian Edwina Tops-Alexander who finished 2017 on a victory (La Coruña) and a second place World Cup Grand Prix in London. Currently third in the European League’s ranking, she is the only female rider so far qualified for the Parisian FEI World Cup Final in April.

As of today, no European woman is qualified for Paris, and the closest possible candidate – Stephanie Holmen of Sweden who currently sits in 31st with her twenty-point victory in Zurich – will not be competing in Bordeaux. They chose instead to send Irma Karlsson, who has no points accumulated and mathematically cannot qualify for the final.

Will Pénélope Leprévost do it?

With ten points in the bag from previous World Cup events and a 49th place ranking, France’s own Pénélope Leprévost might be the best chance at not only a female World Cup Win, but also Europe’s best chance at qualifying a woman. Pénélope Leprévost is generally very successful in Bordeaux where she has already won a Land Rover for her overall performance, and that home crowd advantage certainly couldn’t hurt.

Things get underway in Bordeaux first thing tomorrow morning – in the wee hours for those of us on the other side of the pond. The FEI World Cup Jumping will take place on Saturday, February 23rd at 2:30pm EST (8:30pm local time), and you can watch all the action and replays on FEI TV with a subscription.

Go lady riders, and go jumping!

Bordeaux: FEI TV, Show Website, Facebook Page, Start Lists and Results

Best of JN: Lilly Ward’s Horse Wins With Dad

McLain Ward and Bellefleur PS Z. Photo © Sportfot.

McLain Ward and Bellefleur PS Z. Photo © Sportfot.

We may see our occasional legit heiress princesses bashing around the FEI show jumping ranks, but insiders all like to think that the real heir to the show jumping throne is McLain Ward’s adorable daughter, Lilly. Turns out that while she may have awhile to go before she’s ready for her first CSI 1*, the little lady is already enjoying the glory thanks to her good eye for horse flesh.

After winning the $8,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers in week one and week two of WEF aboard the same horse, McLain revealed that his daughter, Lilly, is the real part owner of his stunning mare, Bellefleur PS Z. She co-owns the horse with McLain’s godmother, Susan Heller.

“Well actually, Lilly owns her with [Susan],” he said. “The deal was Lilly had to be my owner so that I wouldn’t sell her. She’s a phenomenal mare. She’s super careful, brave, really game, and she’s stepping up the levels nicely.

“She’s kind of suited to everything,” continued Ward. “She’s naturally fast, and she’s very careful. It’ll be interesting to see how far she goes because she’s very game and everything we ask her to do, she seems to do really well.”

Ward plans to keep building up eight-year-old mare’s experience, with the goal of competing in the 1.50m classes. He’s been bringing the mare up the ranks himself the past two years, and definitely sees potential based on those years of effort.

“It was a nice galloping course which was nice for the opening day,” said Ward. “I thought she handled it really well. They had difficult double verticals at the end, which probably last season would have been a challenge for her, but she handled it beautifully today.”

There were nine clear rounds in the class, making the win no small feat, particularly with Laura Chapot nipping at their heels aboard Chandon Blue, with whom she took second and Out of Ireland, who came in third. The speed class was designed by Oscar Soberon of Mexico.


The second week of competition at WEF continues on Thursday, January 18, with the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 and the Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’9” in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Field.

EXHIBITOR ALERT: Due to the expected cold temperatures and wind chill of 34 degrees on Wednesday night into Thursday morning, the start time of all competition arenas, with the exception of the International Arena, on Thursday, January 18, will be 8:30 a.m. The International Arena will start at 9 a.m. with the $8,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers. The $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 will start at 12:30 p.m.

Final Results: $8,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers

1 BELLEFLEUR PS Z: 2009 Zangersheide mare by Berlin x Quidam de Revel
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Susan Heller and Lilly Ward: 0/60.497

2 CHANDON BLUE: 2005 Oldenburg gelding by Chacco Blue x Landcapitol
LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Mary Chapot: 0/60.606

3 OUT OF IRELAND: 2006 Anglo European mare by Lougherne Connaught x Amiro M
LAURA CHAPOT (USA), The Edge & Laura Chapot: 0/60.925

4 CHERI DE PAPIGNIES: 2008 Belgian Sport horse gelding by Copin van de Broy x Darco
PETER LUTZ (USA), QBS Equestrian LLC: 0/63.671

5 FINISTERRA: 2008 KWPN mare by Canturano x Cassini I
GUSTAVO PRATO (ARG), Santiago Lambre: 0/63.932

6 IMOGEN DE REGOR: 2008 BWP mare by Darco x Cento
CALLAN SOLEM (USA), Colin and Virginia McNeil: 0/64.820

7 C’EST DORIJKE: 2007 Dutch Warmblood mare
PEDRO MUYLAERT (BRA), Ricardo Facchini: 0/65.477

8 CYBEL II: 2008 Irish Sport Horse mare by Varo x Lancer
LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Mary Chapot: 0/67.209

9 GO EASY DE MUZE: 2006 BWP gelding by Vigo d’Arsouilles x For Pleasure
DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Kerry Anne LLC: 0/69.593

10 IBABCO: 2008 BWP stallion by Nebab de Reve x Darco
SANTIAGO LAMBRE (MEX), Santiago Lambre: 4/63.926

11 JASPER VAN’T GESTELHOF: 2009 Belgian Warmblood stallion by Heartbreaker x Darco
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Kent Farrington and Tanma Corp.: 4/72.418

12 PREMIERE CARTHOES BZ: 2003 Zangersheide gelding by Carthago Z x Voltaire
FELIPE AMARAL (BRA), Roberta Ramalmo: 4/72.559

Best of JN: The GHM Mastership Sessions

Screenshot via USEF Network.

The USEF George Morris Horsemastership Training Session presented by USHJA start today! You can watch the sessions for free by getting a free fan membership using the promo code GeorgeMorris18.


The teaching talent is no big deal, just a handful of the greatest American riders and horsemen who ever lived. You got this, kids:

Anne Kursinski:    Flatwork Demonstration & Instruction – Friday, January 5

Kent Farrington:   Gymnastics Demonstration & Instruction – Saturday, January 6

McLain Ward:        Nations Cup Instruction – Sunday, January 7

Nations Cup Team Chef d’Equipes: Kent Farrington, Anne Kursinski, and Beezie Madden – Sunday, January 7

They’ll also get some top notch instruction from other experts around the industry during their time in the sessions, from anatomy to public relations.

Some useful links: USA Show Jumping Facebook , About the George Morris Horsemastership Training Session2018 Riders and CliniciansClinicians’ BiographiesParticipants’ Biographies

The Full Daily Schedule:

Friday, January 5th

8:00 a.m. – Anne Kursinski – Flatwork Demonstration

9:30-11:30 a.m. – Anne Kursinski – Flatwork (Groups 1 & 2)

Saturday, January 6th

8:00 a.m. – Kent Farrington – Gymnastics Demonstration

9:30-11:30 a.m. – Kent Farrington – Gymnastics (Group 1 & 2)

Sunday, January 7th

8:30 a.m. – McLain Ward – Nations Cup Round 1

9:45 a.m. – McLain Ward – Nations Cup Round 2

Stay tuned to the USEF Network all weekend, and enjoy every minute of the fun!

Go Jumping.

Best of JN: Mare Crush Alert

Alberto Zorzo and Contanga. PC: Olympia London International Horse Show

Oh honey child, Auntie needs her smelling salts! Alberto Zorzi and his stunning 13-year-old Oldenburg mare Contanga looked fresh and fast to win the final Olympia Grand Prix Monday evening and steal the hearts of every fan in the stands.

An impressive 11 horses made the jump-off, and fast and clear were the only way to come out on top. Contanga was absolutely game for every stride and every distance to edge their next closest competitor – Harrie Smolders and Zinnius – by less than 0.2 seconds.

If you didn't manage to catch the Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix, here are the highlights. #OlympiaHorse

Posted by Olympia, The London International Horse Show on Tuesday, December 19, 2017

“I think she is the best horse in the world, very scopey, very special,” said Alberto of Contanga. “The feeling over a fence is amazing. This is an amazing indoor show. I love the Christmas atmosphere and am so happy to be here.”

Alberto took over the ride on Contanga in July from Athina Onassis of Greece, who is still the mare’s owner. Since then the two have had 16 FEI starts and have been in the top ten seven times. They’ve only had one FEI class with eight faults or more, meaning that Alberto’s proclamation of her talent may not be hyperbole.

They’ve had two World Cup qualifiying finishes, so if they can manage to peak at a few more events between now and March, they’re good candidates to qualify for the World Cup Final.

Keep it locked on JN for more highlights from Olympia and beyond! Go Jumping.

Best of JN: Getting Paid As An Equine Professional

Editor’s Note: Horses can be fragile, dangerous, unpredictable, and most of all expensive, and sometimes that places people in the horse business on precarious legal ground. Armand Leone of Leone Equestrian Law tackles some of the common and uncommon legal battles that can arise in the sport.  Many thanks to them and Jump Media for sharing! 

Photo by Alissa King.

It’s no secret; if you do not get paid for your horse training, boarding, or professional services, you will not be in business for long.

Horses are expensive to own and keep, and when clients don’t pay bills, those costs still must be paid. Whether it is an expensive horse that competes at the top shows or a more affordable mount for trail rides, when you provide services to a horse owner as a barn owner, trainer, veterinarian, farrier, or shipper, unpaid bills can mount quickly.

Fortunately, the law provides specific protections from clients who don’t pay their bills for most barn owners and veterinarians, and if your boarding, veterinary, training, or farrier service contract has a required security deposit, retainer, or ironclad payment clauses, you may not even need to read this article.

However, most professionals don’t have strong contractual agreements or stringent repayment provisions. Instead, some trainers and boarding farm owners tend to even operate leniently toward late payments, in no way penalizing the client should funds show up a month or two later than due.

No matter what facet of the equestrian industry you work in, if you aren’t getting paid, you won’t be working for long!

Let’s take for example, a hypothetical boarding farm owner named Sally. Sally highly values fostering close relationships with her boarders and has never made so much as a comment if a board payment check arrives a few weeks, or even a month or two, later than it should. Sally’s operated her business that way for years and has never run into any problems. However, one of her clients – we’ll call him Harry – has suddenly not been around the barn much for the last six months, and he’s entirely neglected to pay his horse’s board for eight months.

Sally did not want to ruin her relationship with Harry by threatening any action against his unpaid bills, but now, she is owed as much, if not more, than what Harry’s horse is worth.

When it does become necessary to deal with a delinquent client depends on the amount owed, the capacity of the person to pay, and the value of the horse. However, as a general rule: the sooner the better, and the less financial capability the client has or the lower the value of the horse, the sooner you need to take action when unpaid bills start to pile up.

In Sally’s case, the debt has been allowed to build up for longer than it should have been, but she can still take action thanks to Horseman Lien Laws. These laws require that the horse physically remains on the barn owner’s property and allows the barn owner to put a lien on the horse. The lien prevents a non-paying client from removing their horse(s) and equipment until the bills are paid.

Photo by Alissa King

In our scenario though, Harry seems to have abandoned all ownership responsibilities and does not seem to care to remove the horse, still leaving Sally liable for the care and bills associated with the animal. In this situation, it could be time to seek further legal counsel and consider public auction as allowed by the Horseman’s Lien Statutes.

New York’s Horseman’s Lien Statute is a good example of this. It provides that veterinarians and barn owners who keep livery stables, have boarders, pasture animals, or store vehicles or tack on the premises can assert a lien on the animals and equipment for the unpaid bills. There must be an express or implied agreement for professional services with the animal’s owner and money is due for the services agreed to be rendered. The facility owner can detain the animal, vehicle, or equipment until the money owed is paid and, if not paid, proceed to public auction. (See e.g. NY Lien Law Chapter 33, Article 8 §183 – Other Liens on Personal Property).

A statute such as this allows any horse, vehicle, or harness under the lien to be sold at public auction to satisfy the debt; however, this is a much more complicated process. While the barn owner is authorized to sell the horse at public auction and recover the moneys owed, there are very precise legal requirements that must be followed to properly sell the horse at auction.

Before one can auction a horse to pay bills, there are notice requirements. The debtor may also contest the lien before an auction can be held if there is a claim that some or all the charges are incorrect. Selling a horse at auction to satisfy a debt is legally complex and should not be done without legal representation. Failing to comply with the regulatory and procedural requirements prevents a valid sale. This is a cumbersome way to get paid but sometimes the only way, outside of a costly lawsuit.

In our example, Sally was fortunate in that she was able to sell Harry’s horse and recover her previously lost profits. She also learned several valuable lessons that will allow her to better avoid such conflict in the future. Sally now requires her boarders to sign a mandatory boarding contract that includes mention of a late payment fee, the right of lien, and even a clause regarding the recovery of attorney fees.

Such a contract is always wise for barn owners or veterinary clinics that have possession of the horse on the property and gain the benefit of a statutory remedy, and, while they are even more rare in these instances, contracts can be even more helpful to trainers, farriers, and “outpatient” veterinary practices. Otherwise, recourse for these equine professionals involves solely going to court to collect money owed.

Photo by Alissa King

For sums less than $10,000, there are Special Civil Courts that may allow an efficient way to resolve such disputes. However, Special Civil Courts generally require that an attorney represent a business, so if you are conducting your business as a professional corporation or a limited liability company, you need to hire one. A defendant can assert a counterclaim above the limit for the Special Civil Court and force the matter into the Regular Civil Division. For larger sums, one has no alternative but to resort to traditional litigation, which is both costly and time-consuming.

No matter what the situation and your role in the horse industry, and whether it results in utilizing a lien, resorting to a collection agency or taking a case to court, dealing with unpaid bills can be an ongoing headache. Particularly if you are a trainer, an outpatient veterinarian, or farrier with limited legal options, do all that you can to avoid going unpaid to the point where the ability to recover payment is lost.

Require payment for prior services before any additional service is performed or consider a contractual agreement in order to better protect yourself because, at the end of the day, you must get paid to remain in play.

Have a legal question for Leone Equestrian Law? Send an email to our editor at [email protected], and your question could be featured in a future column! 

Best of JN: Grand Prix Rider, Meet 9HH Pony

Kristin Hardin does things her own way, dances to the beat of her own drum, and is definitely the “Mac n Cheese”-colored crayon in a box full of beiges.

If you don’t follow the bizarre and delightful antics of Kristin on Facebook, then you’re missing her kite-flying lunge sessions with her world cup winner Bert, her wildly talented children who could out-jump most well trained adults, and maybe my favorite Halloween costume of 2017, the deranged lead line stage-mom.

Posted by Kristin Medall Simpson-Ferguson Hardin on Monday, November 13, 2017

But what you really can’t miss is a recent casual escapade with friends involving a teeny tiny paint pony who is exceptionally willing to put up with any number of shenanigans, and the words “can you put put the box up?”

Yes, enjoy this Grand Prix Show Jumper clearing a flower filler box on a teeny tiny fuzzball. You’re welcome.

⭐️Dream big , but always Keep your feet on the ground ????

Posted by Kristin Medall Simpson-Ferguson Hardin on Wednesday, November 15, 2017

You do you, Kristin. And to the rest of y’all: You do you, too, and Go Jumping.

Best of JN: Show Jumper / Canine Relay

Photo courtesy of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair of Toronto.

Among the many iconic events at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and Horse Show in Toronto is the now beloved tradition of the $20,000 show jumper / K9 relay, which pairs up an FEI show jumper with a champion agility dog to compete for the best overall time of two combined courses. The already-famed crowd gets even more enthusiastic when the dogs appear, and the event always makes for great entertainment.

This year’s event on Saturday afternoon was no exception, with dogs cruising over ramps and jumps, through tunnels, and finally tackling a massive doggy puissance wall.

This year’s winning combination was Richie Moloney (IRL) aboard Alsvid, along with canine partner Party, a ferociously fast Collie. Erynn Ballard (CAN) and Bella Donna were runners up, partnered with a very fast Rottweiler named Shrek.

Watch the fabulous video below!

Go Pups, and Go Jumping!

Best of JN: ‘The Horse Must Be Happy to Win’

Maikel van der Vleuten and Verdi. PC: FEI / Massimo Argenziano

Maikel Van der Vleuten of The Netherlands and VDL Groep Verdi had a phenomenal win in Verona this past weekend with a blazing time over the ten other combinations that made the jump-off, but the way they won in the ring isn’t nearly as important as what they did to prepare OUT of the ring.

Maikel and Verdi have a strong relationship that’s been built over years by mutual communication, trust, and an emphasis on a horse that’s as psychologically sound as he is physically sound.

“He doesn’t change, he is the same every day, in rain or sunshine and no matter where he is. He is very special, and most of all he is very honest!” Maikel said. “He also likes to win and that’s very important but he also has to be happy, not every day training in the same outdoor, I try to change the work, sometimes to go outside to the woods and I use the canter track, he is more happy to train over there.”

Maikel stresses how important these changes and tweaks are to not only keeping Verdi and all his horses fit and engaged, but genuinely happy. It’s part of the winning formula.

“There are things to think about, for example four weeks ago in Rome I could feel he was a little bored. After the show in Calgary maybe it was a little bit too much for him so the last four weeks I got busy with making him happy and good again, and it worked out very well. He was playing with the jumps again and feeling good, and then the result comes as well!” 

Maikel admits that heart and happiness alone can’t make a winner – you must have the talent, as well – but without a happy horse, they’re as useless to you as a puff of smoke.

“If you are a good rider and you have a horse that is not able or doesn’t want to win, then it’s just not possible. Every week I try to feel how he is, I don’t need to teach him jumping anymore, he knows his job and what’s most important for me is that he has to be happy.”

These philosophies should have more front and center dialogue in the sport — and certainly many riders are working on how to put the horse first as often as possible — but it’s less common to hear it put in such stark terms that a horse have happiness. Not rest, or time off, or health, or fitness – but mental happiness.

You can learn more about Maikel at his website, or follow him on Facebook. Full press release from FEI in Verona available here.

Go Maikel, and Go Jumping!

Best of JN: Kama Godek’s WIHS Scarecrow Costume

Kama Godek and De Grande. Photo by Lorraine Jackson

Kama Godek’s talent secures her spot in the USA’s show jumping program regardless of anything else, but that fact that she has an incredible knack for all things viral certainly doesn’t hurt.

We simply adored her live video ride through the Central Park Horse Show a few weeks back, and Thursday night at the Washington International Horse Show, she may have just one-upped herself again.

There were dozens of spectacular costumes during the $35,000 Accumulator Costume Class, but none brought as many gasps, guffaws, or outright shrieks as Kama Godek and De Grande. The pair strode into the ring following a fairly tame but charming skeleton/pumpkin scenario from Aaron Vale, and the already-raucous crowd nearly lost their minds when they saw what she was sporting.

The 39-year-old sported a scarecrow costume complete with long, stiff, broomstick arms, a massive straw hat, and all the autumnal fixins to accompany the harvest look. Her real hands were disguised in black to match her horse, creating a double-take illusion that delighted the Barn Night spectators, and the whole ensemble made five-star jumping seem near-impossible.

While it wasn’t Kama’s night to win the actual class, the look was enough to win the $1,000 bonus check for best costume, and it seems the decision was unanimous based off the crowd’s reaction. See the full gallery of Kama’s costume from all angles, and keep it locked on JN for more insanity from WIHS!

Go Jumping.

#WIHS2017: WebsiteTicketsResults/Orders of GoFacebookInstagramUSEF Live Stream, JN Coverage

Kama Godek and De Grande. Photo by Lorraine Jackson

Best of JN: Ride a Fireball Through Central Park

Screenshot via Facebook Live




The Rolex Central Park Horse Show is going on this week, and as we imagined, there are a LOT of logistics involved with having several hundred jumpers, eventers, and arabians in the middle of the largest and busiest metropolitan park in the world.

One of those logistics includes a three-minute walk from the stabling area to the event arena, and Kama Godek bravely Facebook Livestreamed the entire walk – an experience which at any given moment could have easily been the end of her for our own personal entertainment.

Posted by Kama Godek on Thursday, September 21, 2017

Kama, this definitely puts you in hero status at Jumper Nation. Not just because we get to vicariously ride your studmuffin, or because you recorded the whole event, but because the whole ordeal included the following absolutely nutty scenarios:

1: Narrow walking aisles so tight two horses can’t pass eachother

2: Dozens of baby strollers

3: Bikers, joggers, and rollerbladers whizzing by

4: Hordes of humans who quite possibly have never seen a horse in real life prior to this moment

5: ADJOINING BASEBALL FIELDS (“Where they have baseball meetings, or whatever you call it” <Hero Status continues, Kama.)

6: Slippery asphalt

7: City carriage horses going over bridges nearby

8: Traveling through dark narrow brick tunnels with all of the above things in your immediate vicinity

And then all the normal horse show things, like carpets, stallions, wash racks and dumpsters.

To Kama’s lovely horse’s credit, De Grande handles nearly all of it like a champ, and even his skittishness was all pretty justifiable, under the circumstances.

The action gets underway in Central Park TONIGHT with the J/A Speed Class, the $30k FEI Speed Class, and the $50,000 puissance class as the grand finale.

Full Schedule available below, and more information available at their website.

Thursday, September 21 presented by CSX
$5,000 1.20m Junior/Amateur Speed Class
Gates open at 6:00 p.m. Competition begins at 6:30 p.m.
U.S. Open $40,000 CSX FEI Speed Class
Competition begins at 8:00 p.m.
U.S. Open $50,000 Puissance presented by Spy Coast Farm
Competition begins at 9:00 p.m.
Friday, September 22
U.S. Open $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix
Gates open at 6:00 p.m. Competition begins at 6:30 p.m.
U.S. Open $216,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* presented by Rolex
Competition begins at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 23 presented by The Gochman Family & Dr. Betsee Parker
$1,000 Pony Hunter Classic
$2,500 Junior/Amateur Owner Classic
U.S. Open $50,000 Duchossois Cup
Gates open at 1:00 p.m. Competition begins at 1:30 p.m.
U.S. Open $50,000 Arena Eventing presented by The Fite Group Luxury Homes
Gates open at 7:30 p.m. Competition begins at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 24 
Central Park Family Day presented by Mars, Incorporated
Free General Admission – Open to the Public
Dog agility demonstrations, America’s Got Talent Finalists The Pompeyo Family exhibition, Land Rover “Kids’ Adventure Course,” Hobby Horse courses, pony rides, candy stations, face painting, equine grooming and learning stations and more!
Gates open 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Go Jumping!