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CALGARY, Alberta, Can. — The United States’ McLain Ward and HH Azur went head-to-head against Great Britain’s Scott Brash and Ursula XII in a nail-biting jump-off Sept. 11 at the CP International Grand Prix, presented by Rolex. Because the defending champions went triple-clear, Ward and HH Azur needed to complete the jump-off under 41.19 seconds. Unfortunately, they had a rail at fence two, a Rolex vertical, to end on four faults for second place. Italy’s Lorenzo De Luca and Ensor De Litrange LXII finished third with one time fault. Kent Farrington and Voyeur, also part of the U.S. contingent, finished just outside the top three with four faults.

WAYNE, Ill. – Champions were named Aug. 27 at the 2016 Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships, and two of the three were from the Golden State.

Christian Hartung of Vacaville and Desario, who received record marks, claimed the Markel/USEF Five-Year-Old National Championship, while Craig Stanley of Madera and Habanero CWS overtook Justine Wilson and Hero BHS for the Markel/USEF Four-Year-Old Championship title.

900412-1607B Newstrader PHOTO_A US dressage

Steffen Peters (far right) and the U.S. team.

Shannon Brinkman photo

AACHEN, Germany – The United States Dressage Team had solid performances throughout the Lambertz Nations Cup July 14-16 at CHIO Aachen. Led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover, the team of Katherine Bateson-Chandler, Shelly Francis, Arlene “Tuny” Page, and Steffen Peters garnered the Silver medal with a total score of 437.139. Saturday’s final placing also clinched the inaugural FEI Nations Cup™ series title for the U.S. Germany had a dominant performance in the eight-nation field, taking the top three places in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special and earning the Gold medal with a total of 492.598. Denmark finished with the Bronze medal on a total of 430.418.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has named the U.S. Driving Team for the 2016 FEI World Driving Championships for Singles. The championship will take place Aug. 3-7, 2016, in Piber Köflach, Austria.

Leslie Berndl of Newcastle and her own Uminco, a 2001 KWPN gelding, have been selected to the U.S. Driving Team that will compete in singles.

Michael Freund will serve as Chef d’Equipe and Thorsten Zarembowicz will be the team coach.

WOODSIDE — The heightened atmosphere of the Horse Park at Woodside’s Grand Prix arena, with crowds packed all around, gave the competitors in the Preliminary Challenge divisions at the Spring Event at Woodside the feeling of the “Preliminary Olympics”.

Only a one-tenth of a point separated the top two in the Preliminary Challenge Horse division heading into show jumping. Busy California-based British rider James Alliston held second, third, ninth and eleventh places after cross country. A clear round by Alliston on Sophie Hulme’s Thomascourt Cooley sealed the win on 28.7 penalties after overnight leader En Vogue, owned by Ruth Bley, and ridden by Kimmy Steinbuch, had two rails down.

Christine Traurig, in her second year as the USEF Young Horse Coach, seeks to further develop the Young Horse Program and supports the riders, owners and breeders in the U.S. Traurig also encourages communication on the progress of the Young Horse Program, as she oversees horses and riders preparing for the World Breeding Championships in Holland as well as those preparing for the Markel/USEF Young Horse Finals in Illinois.

For more than 30 years, Traurig has been a successful rider and trainer of young horses. She was born on her parent’s farm in Altenbuecken, Germany, near Verden where they bred, raised and prepared Hanoverians for the Verden Hanoverian Elite Auction.

LAKESIDE — Diana Cavender, a veteran of more than 50 parades since she joined the Escondido Mounted Posse six years ago, was killed April 23 when her horse spooked and fell, knocking her to the ground at the Lakeside Western Days Parade. The incident occured about 10:50 a.m. after the posse had concluded the parade, as Cavender and her horse were approaching a staging area. Emergency crews rushed her to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, where she died at 5:41 p.m.

CHATSWORTH — Chatsworth equestrian community leader Mary Kaufman, a longtime president of ETI Corral 54, died unexpectedly March 24 on the second anniversary of the death of her favorite horse, Ace.

Kaufman, 68, who had endured a months-long battle with a troublesome hip replacement, also served of the board of the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council and was chair of the equestrian committee and chief organizer of the Council’s annual Day of the Horse festival.

Kaufman was appointed by Councilman Mitch Englander to the Los Angeles Equestrian Advisory Committee and was active with the West Valley Volunteer Mounted Patrol. She hosted Mayors Eric Garcetti and Antonio Villaraigosa, and Council Members Greig Smith and Englander and other dignitaries on horseback tours of Chatsworth’s hills and trails, promoting the need to preserve the rural environment.

Rich Fellers and Coupis at HITS Thermal.

Rich Fellers and Coupis at HITS Thermal.

ESI photo

THERMAL — Week VII of the HITS Desert Circuit kicked off an exciting week of big money opportunities for jumpers, and Rich Fellers took home another win, this time riding a new horse, Coupis, to the $5,000 Brook Ledge Open Welcome. He took Leslie Nelson’s horse to a double clear round in a blistering 40.649 seconds. Canadian course designer Danny Foster had put riders to the test building a lengthy and technical course set at 1.45 meters.

The jump-off came down to who could master the tight roll back turns and gallop the fastest. Only five of nine entries who had made the jump-off went clean, and a pair of California riders, Mandy Porter of Encinitas and Susie Hutchison of Temecula, finished second and third, respectively.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Temecula-based eventer Tamra Smith, who just won a pair of titles at the Galway Downs International (related story, page 32), was named last week by the U.S. Equestrian Federation to its High Performance Winter/Spring Training List for 2016. She will train as a member of the World Class list with U.S. Eventing Team Coach David O’Connor.

Tamra Smith and Chatwin at Galway Downs.

Tamra Smith and Chatwin at Galway Downs.

Sherry Stewart photo

The appointment caps a stellar year and remarkable month, during which Smith turned heads nationally with a win at the Fair Hill International CCI3* in Maryland, where she had led start-to-finish on Mai Baum Oct. 15-18. At Galway, she won both the CCI2* and CCI1* events, on Chatwin and Fleeceworks Royal, respectively.

“This year has just been an amazing journey for me, and I want to thank all of the owners of the remarkable horses I have been so blessed to ride,” Smith said after the Galway Downs International.