Welcome back friends, to the Hildegard column! Part 2
Hildy is so happy to hear that Cayce Harrison is back in action after her scary fall during circuit. Best of luck Cayce!
Didn’t Karin Reid Offield make a wonderful co-chair for the USEF National Grand Prix Freestyle Championship/U.S. League Final and “Dancing Under the Stars” gala! What a ball of fire – working with PMG and co-chair Mason Phelps she promoted the VIP tables to a sell-out, the seating around the arena was jam-packed, and the parties were great! Karin put together a really nice surprise presentation to Gene Mische and Mary Silcox for hosting the event (Karin can deliver a speech!). Sponsor Joe Zada’s name got a big round of applause as well. And, Karin competed in the event! Whew!
PS – the giddy “Victory Celebration” party after the Championship/Finals served double-duty – not only did Tuny Page get to celebrate her wins, but her husband Dave Page and her groom Craig Bernstein celebrated their birthdays with appropriately decorated cakes (wine bottle and horses respectively!).
Speaking of incredible events, what can we say about the awesome Cadillac Challenge of the America’s? Mary Ross has created one of the most spectacular events in dressage in this country. Her ideas sometimes sound impossible, and then she pulls it off – this year it was three international teams, 24 riders, and two tons o’ fun, both at the competition and the super gala and auction that followed. We hear she raised almost $200K for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Hats off to all the riders, to choreographer Beth Zimsky, and music specialists Terry Gallo and Karen Robinson. The Challenge rocked!
Say it's not so! Can you imagine making arrangements to rent stalls in a very prominent barn in the Connecticut area and being told you have to buy the proprietor a Grand Prix horse before you can sign the lease on rental stalls. "I don't think so!"
Michael Matz is on his way to Kentucky! This newly elected member of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame has a favorite for the Kentucky Derby. Good luck Michael, we will be glued to the TV and rooting you on!
I hear that a certain Olympic Champion has found his way north of the border. Fresh off his win in the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, Rodrigo Pessoa hopped a plane bound for Toronto in order to spend a few days scouting out horses at Mill Creek Stables, one of Canada's largest hunter/jumper breeding and training facilities. Canada is developing a reputation for its breeding programs, and it is only a matter of time before the tables turn and Europeans start importing horses from North America.
Rumor has it that a break up between two of Winter Equestrian Festival’s up and coming grand prix riders has turned so ugly that the aggressor got kicked out of Player’s Club. As if that weren’t bad enough, the same person tried to hit the ex with golf clubs a few weeks before!
It was great to see Courtney King competing for the first time at the Winter Equestrian Festival this year. Now this rider at only 28 years of age already has 15 client horses to ride and now we hear that owners have purchased two world-class horses in Europe for her as well – stay tuned, we’ll let you know when they arrive and what she’s got! PS – she’s got a new corporate sponsor – PhelpsSports.com!
While at the dentist, Hildy couldn’t help but overhear a patient and fellow equestrian say that her boyfriend broke up with her because he “wanted to see other people.” The poor girl later found out her ex-beau was seeing a man!
She is pregnant? She hasn’t said but the rumor is they are expecting, and she claims to have given up booze for Lent! I’ve heard this story before. Stay tuned.
Don’t miss the August issue of Vanity Fair when it gets to the newsstands. This high-profile magazine sent their top photographer, Harry Benson, to Tampa to photograph a group of junior riders – look for Caroline Kelly, Miasha Fisher, Aimee Aron, Brianne Goutal, Sloane Coles and quite a few others. This should be an important story with great photos.
Josh Walker, the Phelps Media Group, Inc. International correspondent from the West Coast, is changing employers. Seems he has been hired full-time by The Chronicle of the Horse and is making the big move to Middleburg, Virginia. Good luck Josh, we will all be looking forward to your work.
Here’s the story on the god-awful pink seats at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium. The seats were originally Buccaneer Red, to match the uniforms of the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Apparently, the installer forgot the UV sun protection when they were installed, and the seats turned into that hideous pink color you saw on Saturday night at the Budweiser American Invitational. The project to replace them is underway and should be completed by the start of the NFL season. Hildy certainly hopes so. That pink clashed with this year’s outfit.
Congrats to Wendy and Mike Lewis! Wendy picked up her fourth circuit championship in five years with her amazing horse Forget Paris. A circuit championship in the Adult Hunters is quite a feat! Four in five years is incredible! Way to go, Wendy.
Have you gotten Skype yet? It’s the latest and greatest way to make long distance (and local for that matter) calls at no charge! Hildy is the Queen of Skype, and we understand more and more people are joining everyday.
Ken Kraus, the Executive Director, and Jean Llewellyn, the Executive Editor, at the all-new PhelpsSports.com, have assembled a remarkable team of over thirty correspondents, writers, columnists, photographers and videographers for this new website. And the dynamic duo isn’t done by a long shot! They also tell Hildy they’re looking for a top-notch Southern California correspondent. Interested? Email Jean Llewellyn with your resume at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All that stallion squealing in the warm-up ring at this year’s Palm Beach Dressage Derby almost started a cat fight with a couple of our top lady riders. There is something about the acoustics at Loxahatchee that makes it possible for spectators at the FEI ring to hear every word. Was that a psyche-out or what!
Rumor has it that Karen Healey has a book deal in the works. Won’t this be a good read? Let’s hope it isn’t a “how-to” book. “This Is Your Life, Karen Healey” would be a much better read!
A Las Vegas newspaper reported that over $450,000 in bad checks have been turned into the District Attorney’s office. All these checks were from the $1,000,000 event back in October. Somebody is going to get hung out to dry for the mess!
Of course everyone was atwitter to see Lisa Wilcox (who’s been living in Europe for 12 years) out and about at Wellington and Loxahatchee – helping riders, judging leadline, having a grand time at the parties. We hear people are lining up to train with her and lots of people are ready to give her a horse. Can’t wait to see her ride again! Welcome back to the good ol’ USA, Lisa!
Alexandra Thornton had a very successful first trip to the Winter Equestrian Festival this year. She ended up circuit champion in the Children’s Hunter 14 & Under division. Her private trainer, Susie Humes, did a masterful job of preparing Alexandra and her horses, and there is a big future for this junior rider.
For those that were wondering about him, Harry Gill’s great show jumper Viktor, injured during a Grand Prix at Wellington, is doing fabulously. He’s been recuperating nicely in Welly World and will be
headed back to Pennsylvania for some more R and R.
The second filming of Robert Dover’s American Dressage Idol in Wellington eliminated two riders recently. Now we hear the rest of the filming will be on a closed set.
The FTI Rider Challenge was a huge hit on the winter circuit this year with the bonus pool of $200,000. We hear that the Challenge will be offering considerably more money next year. Wow, now this is something that will put show jumping on the map. Big thanks to Dennis Shaughnessey for his commitment to the sport.
We hear that the gossip sisters, Hildegard and Buffy and Nell, are going to combine their efforts and produce a column for the new PhelpsSports.com website. Now this will be something to read! Fasten your seats belts, as no one is safe. What you don’t know is that Hildy, Buffy, and Nell are blood relatives. Now isn’t that a scary thought?!
There was a BBQ in camper city at the Tampa Fairgrounds! Who would have thought? RV Sales of Broward teamed up with Kim Tudor and Mason Phelps to host this event and the “A” list of riders, trainers, and owners showed up. George Morris claims he has never been in camper city, but upon questioning him, he then explained “Not that I remember!” But Hildy knows he has had quite a few visits to camper city during his long and talented career. George, who do you think you are kidding?
My God, Ken and Emily Smith and their Ashland Farms! They took home eight circuit champions and didn’t leave much room for anyone else.
I presume that all of you readers out there know the story line from Brokeback Mountain. Well, let me tell you – the horse show scene has several people who are bringing that story right to the show facilities. And there are several couples who can wear this cowboy hat. Watch out, we know who you are, and we are watching.
Jane Clark, what were you doing having a tour of the Bob and Laura Kraut’s camper in Tampa? That did raise a few eyebrows. And what about those two secret doors that little Bobby showed Jane? Wonder what they are for?
As you know, there are many little dressage cliques in Wellington, but what about the blonde bombshells who regularly meet at the private home of one Grand Prix rider who flies in a special colorist and cutter to keep the gals so glamorous – how luxe!