Sunday, September 14, 2008

Jodie Kelly and Wencenza Leave a Hurricane and Get Back in the 5-Year-Old Final by Winning the Consolation Class

Jodie Kelly is a top rider and trainer, who works with Julie Calzone and her horses. She is making her way in the world of dressage. Check out her latest accomplishment.

Jodie Kelly and Wencenza Leave a Hurricane and Get Back in the 5-Year-Old Final by Winning the Consolation Class
By Jeannie Blanq Putney for DressageDaily

With just 72 hours to go before the start of the Markel/USEF Young Horse Championship, competitor Jodie Stevens Kelly had no idea whether or not she’d be making the trip to Kentucky. At home in Destin, FL, Hurricane Ike was brewing, and although the Kelly’s have a solid evacuation plan no one knew where Ike would land. Last week Destin was in the projected path for most of the week. “Until it hits the Gulf, we have no idea which way it will go,” said Jodie.

It appeared after the first day of the Five-Year-Old Championship that maybe Jodie’s first trip to the championship wouldn’t have been worthwhile, but in the consolation class today she proved that was not the case. With a score of 7.76 Jodie earned first place in the class buying her a coveted spot in tomorrow’s finale. The judges’ first comment was that they couldn’t figure out why Jodie and Wencenza were in the consolation class. Tomorrow they will give the other 14 competitors a run for their money. Wencenza, a Dutch Warmblood mare by Contango out of Piacenza by Juventus, bred and owned by Beth and Roy Godwin is one of the promising U.S.-bred horses in this year’s championship. Jodie is no stranger to tough competition. As a 14-year-old she showed her stallion (at the time) Manhattan at the PAVO cup, a competition for young horses in Holland, under the tutelage of Toine Hoefs. Jodie ended up 16th out of some 600-plus competitors.

Back home in Destin, things seem to be settling down, and the 30 horses at Jodie’s training and boarding barn are safe-and-sound. “We are literally sitting ducks,” she said. “The Gulf is a mile south of us, and the Bay is less than a mile north of us so we’re between two bodies of water that could flood at any time. It’s the price you pay for living in paradise.” Her thoughts have constantly been with her horses and her farm, and she said she was ready to drive home at any moment and implement their evacuation plan. “We have a very intricate plan that we develop at the beginning of every hurricane season,” she said. “I could tell you right now which horse goes in which trailer and who is driving it.”

They evacuate to a cinderblock barn that is an hour and a half north of them that includes 29 stalls along with a small barn across the way. “At the beginning of every hurricane season we pay put a deposit down on the stalls,” Jodie said. “It guarantees us that that barn is available no matter what. It’s a pretty good deal for us being where we are.” The Kelly’s opted to leave all their trucks and trailers at home after Beth offered to trailer her horse up, since she is north of the Bay and would be out of harm’s way. Jodie and mom Laurie followed.

"The storm wasn’t one of the strongest, but it was so big in diameter,” said Jodie. "Destin was receiving huge storm surges and a lot of the bridges were closed. A barge actually hit one of the bridges as a result of the high winds. The causeway for one of the bridges was closed so Destin was pretty much closed to incoming and ongoing traffic the day of the jog.”

The Kelly’s rented a house in Kentucky and will have the ability to stay on if need be, but now that their minds are eased temporarily it is time to gear up for some more great competition.


With a total of 667,5 points Team Italy took the gold medal in the very first FEI World Reining Championship which is being held in Manerbio, Italy. Team USA took the silver medal with 663,5 points closely followed by Team Germany which, a point behind the United States, was awarded the bronze medal.

Sixteen countries were represented in the World Reining Championship and in order to determine who would step on the podium for the bronze medal, reining enthusiasts had to wait for the last German horse and rider combination, Daniel Klein and Dealin Gin owned by the Dealin Gin Syndicate, to show – three horses before the end of the competition.

Team Italy coach, Mario Sbrana, was quick to praise the Italian team members Davide Brighenti, Dario Carmignani, Martin Gamper and Gennaro Lendi for their win. "Getting on the first step of the podium was fantastic", said Mario. "This is a great group of horses and riders and the work they have been doing from the beginning of the year towards this world championship has paid off. They gave all they had and they truly deserved the win".

Brighenti was riding Dualin For Me owned by Mancone QH and scored a 224; Dario Carmignani was seen riding Arc Magic Entprise owned by Pietro DeAngelis and scored a 222; Martin Gamper riding Claudio Risso's RS Oregon N Jac scored a 221,5 and Gennaro Lendi riding his Playing It Out scored a 220,5.

Team U.S.A was represented by Pete Kyle riding A Bueno Poco Dunit owned by Sandra Holt (222); Craig Schmersal riding Mr Dual Rey owned by Casey Holly (221); Jordan Larson riding Lena Gallo (220,5) and Tom McCutcheon riding Ruf Hearted Jac owned by Sarah Willeman (219). "We are very honored to have been able to represent our Country", said Jeff Petska – U.S. Chef d'Equipe. "We had a strong group of horses and great riders for U.S.A. and are hats go off to the Italians, they did a great job".

It was German Sylvia Rzepka aboard Doctor Zip Nic owned by the Zip Nic Partners who marked the highest score of the day, a 227.5, for her Team. Daniel Klein riding Dealin Gin owned by the Dealin Gin Syndicate scored a 219.5, Emanuel Ernst riding Legends Diamond Do owned by Paul Kratschmer scored a 215.5 and Oliver Stein riding Smart Little Lenic scored a 209.

Competitors had to score a 216 or higher to make the Individual Competition which will be held on Sunday 14th at 2pm where twenty horse and rider combinations will be vying for the FEI medals.

The very first FEI World Reining Championship is organized by the Italian Reining Horse Association and is supported by the Italian Equestrian Sports Federation (FISE).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

On Display At Kentucky Horse Park

(Lexington, Ky.) - The unique all-in-one motorized luxury RV and horse transport, Equine Motorcoach, is on display this weekend at the Kentucky Horse Park as part of the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Championships presented by Collecting Gaits Farm and the USEF National Developing Horse Dressage Championship sponsored by the Dutta Corporation and Performance Sales International.

The dressage competition will feature the MSEDA Championship I & II presented by QBE Financial Group. This event serves as a qualifying event for the 2009 USEF National Intermediaire I Championship and is the Official USDF Qualifying Competitions for the 2009 Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Dressage Championship, FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships and USEF National Junior, Young Rider and Brentina Cup Championships.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Olympic Equestrians on Oprah on September 8

From our Olympic reporter - Viviane Garner with Laura Kraut
The Olympic fun continues. Oprah has decided to dedicate her season premier to the US Olympians! Laura is on her way to Chicago now. The show will include over 150 athletes and will air on Monday Sept 8. You will have to check your local listings to see what time Oprah airs in your city, but set your Tivo's!

Laura waving on Oprah's stage

From the Oprah show! If you can see it, that's a picture of 3 day team member Gina Miles on the big screen on stage. V