PHOENIX – December 20, 2007 – On January 12, 2008, when the elite of the horse world meet in Louisville, Kentucky for the 2008 United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Annual Meeting, the name of the 2007 Farnam®/Platform® • USEF Horse of the Year will be announced.
This prestigious title is awarded each year to the nation’s most exceptional horse. The winning horse is chosen based on votes cast by members of the USEF, media and the USEF Board of Directors. USEF Members can vote for the Horse of the Year by visiting http://www.usef.org
and clicking on the Horse of the Year Voting link on the bottom-right of the homepage. Voting closes January 4, 2008.
Farnam’s line of Platform® horse feeds and animal health supplements is the title sponsor of the Horse of the Year program, an exclusive four-year partnership that drives the popular USEF awards program to a new level of excellence. This is the third year the organization is honoring a horse, in addition to and separate from the Equestrian of the Year award.
This year’s finalists represent a broad cross section of riding disciplines and the voting is expected to be brisk. One of these five finalists will join previous winners Brentina, the 2005 dressage superstar, and Authentic, the 2006 jumping superstar. The finalists for the 2007 Farnam®/Platform®• USEF Horse of the Year are:
Aequus+//, Arabian, owned by Hazelbank Investments
Aequus+//, the winningest park horse in the history of the Arabian breed in the United States, is the only horse to have won the open and amateur park horse championship in the same year. Furthermore, he accomplished this at the age of 19. Bill Rodgers, who works with Aequus at Freedom Farm said that this unique stallion is “a pet to them – an angel, the sweetest thing.”
As a final tribute to his outstanding show career, Aequus+// will carry the American flag at the 2008 U.S. National Arabian & Half- Arabian Championships in Tulsa, where he will be formally retired from competition. However, we will no doubt be thrilled for generations to come by the offspring of this remarkable horse.
The 2007 accomplishments for Aequus+// include: U.S. National Champion Park Horse and U.S. National Champion Park Horse Adult Amateur Owner.
Esteban, Friesian, owned by Deb Goldmann
Esteban, a six-year-old Friesian is described as being gentle and quiet while in the barn by his owner, Deb Goldmann. However, she added, “he’s a ham and loves to be the center of the show,” once he enters the ring. Esteban proved her true at the 2007 International Friesian Show Horse Association (IFSHA) World and Grand National Championship Horse Show. When shown at hand with handler Steven Stiller, he was all class, topping the gelding ranks. Goldmann chose Stiller to show Esteban because he is the only handler who can keep up the 16.1-hand gelding. When it came to the driving classes, Esteban demonstrated that he was not only ideal in conformation, but had talent as well. His ability to adapt was showcased as he was awarded national champion titles with three different drivers- David Hennen, Gwyneth Rausch, and Goldmann. As the competition year ended, Esteban held the National Horse of the Year titles for both Friesian in-hand and driving divisions.
The 2007 accomplishments for Esteban include: World Champion Friesian Senior Gelding Six and Over, World Champion Friesian Baroque Gelding All Ages, World Champion Friesian Liberty Gelding, National Champion Friesian Pleasure Driving Working Single Open, National Champion Friesian Pleasure Driving Costume, National Champion Friesian Pleasure Driving Turnout – Single, National Champion Friesian Concours D’Elegance, National Champion Friesian Obstacle Driving – Single and National Champion Friesian Obstacle Driving - Single/Pair Amateur
Free Willy, Hackney, owned by Blevins Farms
This beautiful, athletic and perfectly mannered pony is not only an ambassador for the Hackney breed, but for show horses of all breeds. His beauty and willingness to perform in the roadster pony division not only requires an elegant neck- and head-set along with extreme motion, but also speed. The fact that he has done this for 25 consecutive classes without defeat is truly a remarkable accomplishment.
At 14 years of age, his wins include three times World’s Grand Champion, Canadian National Grand Champion and American National Grand Champion at the American Royal Horse Show recently in Kansas City. He has performed to capacity crowds of as many as 30,000 people in the last few years and literally hundreds of thousands of people have seen him.
Free Willy has proven his ability to perform with style and grace even when traveling great distances. He and Georgia Blevins of Blevins Farm have put together this chain of victories showing that he is one of the best in competition.
The 2007 accomplishments for Free Willy include: World Grand Champion Roadster Pony at the Kentucky State Fair, Winner Roadster Pony 50 to 52 Inches at the Kentucky State Fair, National Champion Roadster Pony at the United Professional Horsemen's Association /American Royal National Championship, Champion Roadster Pony at the American Saddlebred Horse Association of Virginia Horse Show, Winner of the Roadster Pony Jackpot Stakes at Rock Creek and Champion Roadster Pony at the Asheville Lions Charity Horse Show
Sapphire, Jumper, owned by McLain Ward and Blue Chip Bloodstock
Sapphire, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood has been setting the show jumping world on edge for years. In 2007, the chestnut mare added to her already impressive show record by winning the largest purse ever offered in an outdoor show jumping event in the United States, the $300,000 CN Worldwide Florida Open Grand Prix, CSI*****. This, along with her other wins, has her at the top of the leaderboard for the American Grand Prix Association’s Horse of the Year Award, with $224,427 in prize money to her credit.
With rider McLain Ward, Sapphire’s past performances include an Olympic Team Gold medal, a Team Silver medal from the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games and another Team Gold from the 2005 Samsung Super League team. In 2006, the remarkable pair wrapped up the year by winning the Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championship. Living up to her impressive resume, Sapphire thrills spectators every time she is in the ring.
The 2007 accomplishments for Sapphire include: Winner of the CN Worldwide Florida Open Grand Prix, CSI*****, Winner of the $75,000 Bainbridge Idle Dice Classic World Cup Qualifier, Winner of the $75,000 Grand Prix of Devon, Second place at the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, CSI**** in Tampa, Fla., and Eighth place finish at the FEI World Cup in Las Vegas, placing first in the first round.
Theodore O’Connor, Eventing, owned by The Theodore O’Connor Syndicate, LLC
At 12-years of age, Theodore O’Connor was the first pony in history to compete at the Pan American games. Known as “Teddy,” this 14.1-hand Thoroughbred/Arabian/Shetland cross led the U.S. eventing team to a Gold medal and brought home an Individual Gold, as well.
With veteran rider Karen O’Connor, the chestnut gelding captured the heart of the eventing world at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, where he placed third in his four-star eventing competition. “The pony” sailed around the cross-country course, and amazed crowds as he finished the show jumping portion of the competition without a single rail down. Then, the pair went on to the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he dispelled any ideas that a pony didn’t belong. After finishing the dressage portion of the competition in third place, Teddy completed the cross-country phase at the top of the ranks. With his stellar jumping ability, he navigated the show jumping course with a single rail down, assuring him and O’Connor the Gold. When the awards were presented, Theodore O’Connor certainly wowed the crowd as he galloped around the arena, inches shorter than his Gold-medal teammates.
The 2007 accomplishments for Theodore O’Connor include: Individual Gold-medal winner and Team Gold-medal winner at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, the first pony ever to compete at the Pan American Games in eventing, Reserve Champion of the USEF National CCI**** Championship (Third place for the Rolex CCI**** in Lexington, KY), the first pony ever to compete at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day-Event, Winner of The Fork CIC*** and United States Eventing Association Horse of the Year.
The 2007 Farnam®/Platform® • USEF Horse of the Year will be announced during the Horse of the Year gala at the USEF Annual Meeting on January 12, 2008, at the Louisville Marriott Downtown in Louisville, Ky.
Farnam’s Platform® Feeding System products are formulated by expert equine nutritionists using the latest, up-to-date research. The Platform® Feeding System allows you to select an appropriate premium feed and, if needed, targeted supplements to address specific problems without the possible harmful effects and waste of over-supplementation. With the Platform® Feeding System, you can design a feeding program to meet your horse’s individual needs. For more information about the Platform® Feeding System, visit http://www.platformfeed.com
Over the past six decades, Farnam Companies, Inc., has grown to one of the most widely recognized names in the animal health products industry and has become one of the largest marketers of equine products in the country. No one knows horses better than Farnam. That’s why no one offers a more complete selection of horse care products. Farnam’s Horse Products serve both the pleasure horse and the performance horse markets with products for fly control, hoof and leg care, grooming, wound treatment, leather care supplies, plus feed and nutritional supplements. For information about Farnam Horse Products in the U.S. call toll free at (800) 234-2269 or visit http://www.farnamhorse.com
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/finalists-farnam-platform-usef-horse-12-07.html">Five Finalists Compete for the Title of 2007 Farnam®/Platform®• USEF Horse of the Year</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com