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Wellington celebrates the dancing PRE horse

Pictures and Text by  Lily Forado

VIDEO USPRE PARTY : https://youtu.be/BreSWuPz3DM

Every year in late January the United States PRE (USPRE) Association hosts a full week of activities showcasing the breed in Wellington, Florida. This years event was held from January 22-25, 2019 during the third week of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival.

The first activity for the week was the Welcome Cocktail Reception held the evening of Tuesday, January 22 at White Horse Tavern. All USPRE members were invited, and the crowd included Janne Rumbough, Debra Cooper-Phelon, Carmen Franco, Miguel Coves, Philip Merrill, Cristina Cardenas, USPRE President Kimberly Van Kampen, and both the President and Executive Secretary of ANCCE, Jose Juan Morales and Manolo Gonzalez, respectively.

Following the Cocktail Reception, on Wednesday morning ANCCE hosted a seminar at the International Polo Club covering relevant updates in the PRE world. Both Mr. Morales and Mr. Gonzalez spoke at the event and presented the following modifications:

  • New rules of the Dressage COPA ANCCE COVAP
  • Qualifying criteria for the Young Horse World Championships
  • Launch of PRE conformation guidebook video in six languages
  • New markets for the PRE
    • Working equitation
    • Pilot trial assessment for two and three year olds in freedom
  • New categories in Morphology shows

At the conclusion of the presentation, ANCCE representatives answered all questions and concerns from breeders. Pastries and coffee were served and breeders and riders had a chance to mingle with both USPRE and ANCCE representatives after the seminar.

Later that same day was the USPRE Party, which welcomed approximately 1000 people in the VIP tent at Adequan Global. The theme for this years 9th Annual Party was “Wanna Dance” and the riders, DJ, and choreographed professional dancers held true to that theme.

At the starting gun, nearly a dozen stallion walked the International Arena to a Bruno Mars remix by South Florida’s DJ Mate. The regal and noble animals set an exciting tone for the evening, which was followed by Nicole Harrington riding Camomila MCD while a live rendition of Whitney Houston’s “Wanna Dance with Somebody” was performed by Cassie Ortiz, winner of American Equestrians Got Talent 2017.

The third act honed in on the joy of dance. Kerrigan Gluch and Bolero CXLVII were joined by dancer and Patrick Swayze impersonator, Camilo Navarette, where they graced the audience with their own rendition of the cult classic “Time of My Life” from the movie Dirty Dancing.

It wouldn’t be a proper horse show without some country music, and both the fourth and fifth acts delivered bigly. Debra Cooper-Phelon sparkled in a custom sequin jacket while she rode the beautiful chestnut TB Xochimilco to Carrie Underwood’s “Love Wins.” Following Debra was Jeri Caprio with line dancers in tow while Kerrigan Gluch rode Ilusionne di Ferrari and Sophie Schults rode Conocideo HGF to the country favorite, “Achy Breaky Heart.” The entire crowd was clapping along to their grape vine choreographed dance in perfect synchronicity with the horses’ movements.

Next, a beautiful tango with Miami’s very own Cuban dancers to the tune of Besame Mucho faded into “Havana” by Camila Cabello while Maria Lithander rode in on Barbara HGF. Maria executed one movement after another with great precision. The combination of the PRE horses with latin music resulted in a marvelous performance.

Keeping with the uptempo beat, Javier Ruiz Garrido and Batidor X performed to the tune of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” The Spanish rider from the Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre de Jerez took the center line where he executed a long-lining/handling demonstration, leaving the audience mesmerized.

At the conclusion of the event was the finale which included nearly thirty horses to a live performance of The Greatest Showman’s “This is Me” by Cassie Ortiz. The arena was full of freestyle movements and captivated the fun atmosphere of the evening.

Food for the evening was traditional Spanish dishes such as paella, gazpacho and Iberian ham. After the show, riders and patrons stayed to party with DJ Mate and his Top 40 remixes.

On Thursday morning, USPRE members had the opportunity to attend an informative educational seminar at Jane Bistline’s Horses and Hounds farm with speaker Dr. Robert P. Boswell DMV, PA about the metabolic health of the PRE horse and risks of Laminitis.

Later that day, USPRE members watched the Grand Prix of CDIW at Adequan Global, which was sponsored by USPRE. 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Kasey Perry Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet won the GP with 77.913%. In the evening, USPRE hosted the Member’s Gala Dinner at the International Polo Club. Awards presented at the Member Gala include:

  • Horse and Rider of the Year: Janne Rumbough and Armas Zumbel
  • Member of the Year: HGF Youth Quadrille
    • Kerrigan Glutch
    • Sarah Roda
    • Sophia Schultz
    • Elena Schiefele
  • Equestrian of the Year: Jacqueline Cuddy
  • Mare of the Year: CRUZ DUQUESA, owned by Yeguada Las Cruces
  • Stallion of the Year: DISTINGUIDO DE TRUJILLO, owned by Yeguada del Real Castillo
  • Functionality Award: DISTINGUIDO DE TRUJILLO, owned by Yeguada del Real Castillo
  • Breeder of the Year: OAK HILL, owned by Barbara Currie
  • Special Breeder Recognition: Karen Lewis

Friday morning began with an event centered around the training of young horses held at Hampton Green Farm. The Olympic Spanish rider Jose Daniel Martin Dockx gave two clinics where he stressed the importance of gymnastics and the need for horses to be able to stretch, collect, bend and straighten their body. Riders Kerrigan Gluch with Didacus (Utrerano VII) and Sophia Schults riding Conocido HGF (Cosaco XI) helped demonstrate.

Immediately following the clinics, USPRE hosted a light lunch while Juan Carlos Campo (FEI 4* Judge), Manolo Gonzalez, Jose Juan Morales and Jose Daniel Martin Dockx offered differing viewpoints from judges and riders regarding the World Championship of Young horses. Mr. Campos made the point that, “The PRE is recognized by the judges as a dressage sport horse not only for it’s piaffe and passage, but also for it’s movements. The horse needs the self-carriage to demonstrate his capacity to perform everything. The key for the Young Horses is the top line.”

After four action-packed days of fun in the sun, USPRE Week concluded with Friday Night Freestyles held again at Adequan Global. U.S. dressage star Laura Graves, who is currently ranked #2 in the world, rode Verdades beautifully and earned a score of 84.935% to win the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W.  Javier Ruiz Garrido also entertained the audience with his magical performance with USPRE Board Member Jane Bistline’s Batidor X at the conclusion of the show.

Each year, USPRE week congregates in Wellington with the best riders and breeders on American soil, as well as international guests. We thank all participants in this year’s 9th Annual USPRE Week and hope to see both new and old faces next year at this truly remarkable and world-premiere event.

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