Every year, during the third week of the 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 from 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.
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.
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 of your horse’s body. “𝑇ℎ𝑒 ℎ𝑜𝑟𝑠𝑒 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 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:
1. Control cool season pasture
2. Avoid high-calorie hay and grain intake
3. Balance Diet with Low sugar/starch feed
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 enthusiasts gathered around to watch the CDI4* GP sponsored by USPRE at the premises of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. The 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
On Friday, USPRE members had a little rest after three days of nonstop 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 the 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. The 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 marvelous performance.
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 his gorgeous natural looks; and more and more is being recognized for its performances in the dressage and sports 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 where once more the PRE horses have been the epicenter of the equestrian capital by excellence.