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New York Becomes Prized Addition to Longines Global Champions Tour

The Longines Global Champions Tour has sported a bevy of glamorous venues around the globe: Shanghai, Berlin, Paris, London and St. Tropez, to name just a few. But LGCT impresario Jan Tops knew he needed New York City to make his catalogue complete. “We were just missing this one,” he said, explaining why 51 CSI five-star riders from 19 nations and their 95 horses last weekend found themselves on an island accessible only by ferry for the LGCT finals. Most of those who came had never heard of Governors Island in New York Harbor, but once...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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Texas Show Joins the World Cup Show Jumping Scene

With 14 venues in three countries for the 2019-2020 season, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup North American League ™ required major surgery after the decision that there would be only eight qualifiers for three years starting with the 2020-2021 season. Notable casualties that will not continue in the league after the current season ends next year include such big-name fixtures as the American Gold Cup in New York, Thunderbird in British Columbia and Live Oak in Ocala, Florida, which is in the enviable position of being the last qualifier...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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Equestrian Journalists are Latest Targets of SafeSport Awareness

The furor over the SafeSport lifetime ban of George Morris has morphed into a movement not only to support the beleaguered trainer, author and former U.S. show jumping chef d’equipe, but also to campaign for changes in how SafeSport operates. The U.S. equestrian community has realized, as James Baldwin put it, “if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.” There is an a...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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Major upgrade for HITS Ocala in the works

by Nancy Jaffer The sale this month of 16 HITS shows in California and Arizona means an upgrade for the company’s offerings in Ocala, Fla., according to CEO Tom Struzzieri, who now will be able to direct his focus toward only one circuit in the winter. “I think it’s going to be a renewed commitment, and a little extra cash to be able to do it,” he said. While declining to give an exact figure, he said “millions more” will be invested. HITS’ West Coast shows were purchased by a partnership headed by Steve Hankin, ...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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Supporters Rally Around George Morris After SafeSport Ban

A tidal wave of reaction met the news that former U.S. show jumping coach George Morris – the world’s most famous trainer in that discipline – had been issued a lifetime ban by the U.S. Center for SafeSport in connection with “sexual misconduct involving (a) minor.” The decision is being contested and disputed by the 81-year-old Olympic medalist, who said in a statement he is “deeply troubled by the U...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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Central Park Horse Show Won’t Run This Year

While it sounded like a great idea, there was always skepticism that a horse show could ever be held in Central Park, the heart of Manhattan. But Winter Equestrian Festival impresario Mark Bellissimo and his team got it done in 2014, and for four years, the Rolex Central Park Horse Show was an innovative addition to the schedule. Last year, however, the Central Park fixture was cancelled as Mark and his organization were busy in Tryon, N.C., presenting the FEI World Equestrian Games, which ended just days before the New York show would have ...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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No U.S. Venue for 2022 Olympic and Para-Equestrian Qualifiers

The Kentucky Horse Park, which hosted the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010, was not on the list for consideration as a candidate for the 2022 world championships, as the FEI announced bidders for those competitions yesterday. In the Olympic disciplines of dressage (coupled with para dressage), show jumping and eventing, the 2022 championships will serve as qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympics and Paralympic...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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USEF Takes Another Step Toward Keeping Young Equestrians Safe

U.S. Equestrian Federation members last year sighed and accepted the requirement that they take on-line SafeSport training in order to compete in recognized shows. Then last month, they got word about the federation implementing yet another protocol related to the program that is “committed to ending all forms of abuse in sport.” That includes bullying, harassment, hazing, physical abuse and emotional abuse, in addition to sexual misconduct and abuse. Sports’ national governing bodies, such as USEF, are required to be part of its missi...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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Will the World Equestrian Games Return After All?

As the problem-plagued 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) wrapped up in Tryon, N.C., one thing seemed clear – there would not be another WEG, at least next time around in 2022. But hold on a minute before you write WEG’s obituary. Surprise! There already is one entity coming forward and revealing its interest in bringing WEG back for 2022. First, though, a bit of history before the big reveal. You must understand that the difficulties involved in staging the WEG as a compilation of eight world championships are legion. (The FEI is ...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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Will Lowering the Fences Get More Entries?

It may look as if the U.S. Equestrian Federation has dumbed down the finals of the Platinum Performance Show Jumping Talent Search by lowering the fences, but those involved in making the decision say it ain’t so. The impetus for the federation’s jumping sport committee to change the fence height from 1.20 meters to 1.15 meters for the 2019 finals was the fact that entries in the East Coast finals, which always has more competitors than the West Coast version, were down last year to a mere 33 starters, from 52 in 2017. Run over two da...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer