It’s that time of the year again. With over 360 000 visitors, CHIO Aachen is the must attend event of the year for every equestrian enthousiast. On Sunday (21th of Juli), top dressage riders from all over the world are striving for victory during the Grand Prix Freestyle.
The Chief Steward
We all know what happens in the ring during a dressage test. But what happens in the warming-up arena? This year’s Chief Steward is Mister Jacques Van Daele, a Belgian judge and steward with lots of experience at international 5-star tournaments. Also a fun fact, mister Van Daele was also for years my mentor during the judging courses in Belgium.
Criticism at the warm-up-arena
At the CHIO Aachen last year the best dressage riders in the world impressed the spectators with fantastic sport and fair riding almost without exception. Almost. Because there was also some criticism about scenes on the warm-up area, the accusation: Horse-unfriendly riding, the result: discussions, accusations and insults across the social media. The stewards of the International Equestrian Federation, the FEI, are responsible for making sure the regulations are observed. We spoke to Chief Steward, Jacques Van Daele from Belgium, about last year and the coming CHIO Aachen.
A vision on happy athletes
Question: What are your tasks in your capacity as Chief Steward? Jacques Van Daele: Accompanying the riders – being there, in the stables, on the warm-up areas and the routes in-between. Watching and supervising everything that happens there.
Question: What form do these controls take on? Van Daele: That is clearly stated in the regulations. It is laid down what is allowed and what isn’t. If everyone sticks to the rules it is simple.
Question: And? And does everyone abide by the rules? Van Daele: Today, the situation is clear, the dressage sport has developed further, it has changed. A too low neck position is no longer accepted, not by the press and definitely not by the public. The equestrians simply don’t ride the same way they did 20 years ago. Most of the riders have long since understood this. But I must say: Unfortunately, not all of them. And we have to work on this together.
Question: So you are saying, the riders are aware that the sport has changed? Van Daele: Yes, of course! Sure! In most countries.
Question: But that also means: Not everywhere yet? Van Daele: There are still exceptions. A few people are not quite convinced yet – but that will come in time! I will continue to stay cool and talk to the few riders concerned. And if it really doesn’t work, then we have to take a different approach – which I don’t like to have to do at all.
Question: That means… Van Daele: ...that I did in fact have a few difficulties with riders in the past. They didn’t understand why they had been shown a yellow card. In that case, I try to explain why. I take plenty of time to do so, an hour, an hour and a half. They don’t have to agree with what I say, but they at least have to listen to why I have said “Excuse me…”. We are not enemies, but when things go too far, they go too far.
Question: Can you describe your work in practice? Van Daele: Talking, talking, talking. The people I work together with are the riders. We talk a lot and often. Not always on the practice areas, also in the stables and after or before the warm-up. And if I can spend a weekend without cautioning anyone or handing out any yellow cards, then we all find it much better.
Question: Should the stewards perhaps reactive more offensively? In other words, intervene more strongly? Already showing the yellow card on the warm-up area? To also signal to the outside world that something is happening? Van Daele: We do intervene, react and also let the riders know that. But yes, perhaps we haven’t demonstrated that clearly enough to the outside. I always say to my stewards: “Don’t shout! Go over and say what has to be said.” And if that doesn’t help – then I am there. I am always there.
Question: Your creed is talking to each other? Van Daele: Yes, that helps so much. There are riders, who I get on very well with, but there are also difficult riders. It is not always just easy – it can sometimes be hard.
Question: Does your training as a criminal investigation detective help you deal with these difficult cases? Van Daele: Yes, a great deal, indeed.
Question: Because one lets the other person finish speaking… Van Daele: And respects and listens to him! Instead of just preparing the answer, without really listening. Namely, that is when one starts arguing. If the people are worked up, I say: “Wait half an hour and then we will talk. That works in 90 percent of the cases. For me integrity is the most important attribute – say what one does, and do what one says.
Question: Do you think your work is going to be different this year compared to last year’s CHIO? Van Daele: The most important thing will be to make it clear that we are actually doing something. The spectators probably thought: They are just sitting around… This year the stewards are going to be wearing bibs so that they are immediately recognisable. And it is quite clear: Not everything was right last year, we reacted too late on one occasion and that was my fault. If somebody doesn’t ride fairly, we will discuss the matter. Not afterwards, but indeed immediately.
Question: Are you looking forward to the CHIO? Van Daele: Of course! Why not? You know, last year wasn’t my highlight, but it would be wrong to quit now. That is not my style. I can only do my work as well as I can and try to motivate everyone in the team to do the same. And if a rider says a simple “thank you” before heading home. Just “thank you” – then I am happy. Then, I always respond: “Don’t thank me. Thank my team!”
British luxury label Burberry is mostly known for his trenchcoats and tartan prints. Since former designer of the French fashion house Givenchy, Riccardo Tisci, entered the building a lot has changed. The latest spring/summer collection spotlights the new Burberry logo as well as the remixed check print. We are always intrigued when one of the most famous fashion houses gets inspired by the equestrian industry.
Luckily the jewelry collection got an upgrade as well and Riccardo got inspired by the motifs of his runway collection, to design a modern jewelry line. That will be loved by equestrians! These gold and palladium-plated hoof earrings are highly on our wishlist.
If you like it a little bolder, you can go for the open-hope earrings. (€390)
The drop earrings are available in different colors and materials.
In a world were the wellbeing of the horse is key, brands invent the most innovative products to prevent injury. Italian company ‘Equick’ is one of those pioniers who is passionate about developing new designs in the equestrian world.
A new era of eye protectors has come
The new eVysor by eQuick offers your horse maximum comfort and protection. Thanks to the combination of design and the use of the best materials they can offer you a 360° protection for the eyes of your horse.
The eVysor is designed for use during riding, and therefore it is entirely at the owner’s discretion whether it is used for grazing, and if so it is advised that the horse in question be fully supervised. This is particularly important in cases where an extreme reaction to sunlight would be detrimental to the horse’s health. The reason for this is that, as with anything worn unsupervised, it may be inadvertently removed by the horse, or in rare circumstances, could become stuck on a fence or such like.
All of the lenses of the eVysor offer 100% UV Protection. The finishes available are purely cosmetic and do not effect the technical function of the glasses.
The evysor horse mask is recommended for horse with a variety of problems and can be used for the following:
During the Equitana fair in Essen (Germany) we had the opportunity to have an interview with classical dressage trainer and rider Anja Beran. Since many years she is an inspiration for riders who want to become familiar with the art of classical horsemanship.
About Anja Beran
Anja Beran was born in Germany and spent a major part of her childhood at her grandfather’s hunting lodge in Bavaria, surrounded by hunting dogs and horses. There she decided she would one day be either a forester or a professional rider. Beran ultimately chose riding as her life’s work.
Horses brought her to Portugal in 1985, where she initially rode with Luis Valenca and later met and worked intensively with Manuel Jorge de Oliveira, who remains her mentor. At home in Germany, she spent 16 years under the tutelage of Marc de Broissia, training horses of all breeds, before eventually managing and running Gut Rosenhof, an astoundingly beautiful mountain farm and training facility in Rudratsried, Bayern, Germany.
Horses are sent from all over the world to work with Anja Beran and her outstanding staff, at Gut Rosenhof. Every horse is allowed to develop at his own individual speed, gently, with great care for the classical ideal of true harmony between horse and rider. Time for an indept interview with Anja Beran about her insights in dressage, her international clinics and her love of horses.
Was it always been clear that you want to become a dressage trainer?
AB: No, not at all (laughs) . I started riding as a child and wanted just hacking, I wanted to be outside with the horses and then of course I started a little showjumping, because I thaught dressage was boring. Afterwards, little by little I wanted to have a better communication with the horse and I was ooking for a higher level of horsemanship and so my passion for dressage started.
So you started as a showjumper? Are you still using those technique in daily training?
AB: No, sometimes we let the horses to jump free , especially in winter because the circumstances are a little bit boring for the horses because we live on 1000 meters and we have lots of snow. They can not go out and we let them jump free to change the work a little . But sometimes we also train with small obstacles.
Do you still remember your very first horse or pony?
AB: Yes, it was an Arab and I have very good memories of him. It’s actually quite funny, because nowadays I work with a lot of arabian stallions of the state stud and that’s a funny feeling. But I love them a lot.
Do you think arabians needs to be trained in a different way than for example a lusitano?
AB: They are a little bit different, because the physical is very different but they are so intelligent and clever. It’s really fun to train them. At the end, we can have the same results with all breeds. All dressage moves (flying change, piaffe, passage) are possible but we need to keep in mind that they are very clever.
You have trained so many horses in your life, do you have one horse that is the most remarquable in your career?
AB: No not really because we have a training center for horses and normally we don’t get a horse when it’s young to break in and to develop him but we get the horses when they have problems. And so we had so many horses with lots of problems so of each horse I took something. I’ve learned a lot from every horse. So I am very thankful to all these difficult horses because they helped me develop.
You never started the training with a youngster?
AB: It happens with for example the stallions of the state stud and I also work for the biggest circus in Europe. They always bring the horses when they are 3 years old. Normally they all bring the horse after they tried training them themselves, but that didn’t work out, so they bring them to our training center.
The pasture at Gut Rosenhof
Do you find it sometimes frustrated to see all the potential of the horse but it went wrong along the way?
AB: Yes it is but if it are problems under the saddle than that’s not the biggest problem. But the real problem is the mental state of the horse, their mental health . Some horses have psychical problems because of bad luck and that’s really a pity.
There is a lot going on social media: competion sports vs classical dressage. Do you think dressage in on the right track?AB: No, not at all.
DVD Anja Beran – Training the eye
Could the FEI change something (judges, trainers)?
AB: The situation is difficult. In my opinon the trainers and the riders want to do it good, but the knowlegde is gone. It’s not possible to turn this whole situation, concerning most of them don’t know another way. There is lots of very old knowlegde. Many people feel that they should change something unfortunately they just don’t know how.
Do you think there will be a turn around someday?
AB: In an ideal world it should start at the top, but it will not! They should change some of the rules. The real change should come from the basic. Some of the riders already don’t want to continue like that. It is important to keep the way of classical training in mind so that will help a lot of horses. You already feel the change in the dressage industry. At the same time there are a lot of offers of how you can train a horse. Different ways of training , new things .
We need innovation in the way we domesticate horses. How we keep them healthy , how we need knowlegde about feeding him better, etc…. We don’t need innovation in riding. We have to think about the way it went in the past when the people really lived together with the horses. They have been on the horse whole day. They knew how it worked.
Is there a rider in current competition that you look up to? AB:There are some riders who are very very good, who I even like to see riding. On the other side the problem is the system they are training in. The system makes them to do things I don’t like at all. I know they are really good riders but they are pushed too much into a direction.
Do you practise some other sports to keep in shape?
AB: I like to swim a lot and do gymnastics. If I have the time I do it every evening. Just, 20 minutes and espesically some excersises for me and my body to help me to stay in shape.
What you think about innovative ways of training the your perfect seat? What about a mechanical horse?
AB: When you are on the horse it is already to late! You have to work on your seat and balance before. Let me explain, when we are on the horse we have so many problems to solve. The movements of the horse, turn, stop, make him go, etc. The basic work for us riders should be done on the ground. You have to be very mobile and you need a lot of muscles in some parts of your body, escpecially back and belly muscles. You need to have a strong and fixed position. On the other side you have to be very relaxed in your arms and legs. And this combination is not so easy. All people who dance or do ballet have most of the time more balance and rythm. When they started riding is is much more easy.
Let’s talk about the old masters. Who is the one you got the most inspired? AB: For me it is Nuno Oliveira, the photo’s about him are perfection to me. The photos are sometimes even better than reading the books. Photo’s will give you a lot of information. With Nuno you always see the horse in very good balance, you see a very good seat, you see very light reins. The horse is completely engaged. When we are loosing the right track, we need to watch the pictures again to get inspired.
Do you think Lusitano horses are the most suitable for dressage? AB: No, not at all. It’s even a mistake I made when I was a child because I came to portugal. I trained a lot of lusitano horses over there. Later I discovered it is the way of training that is the most important. Classical training makes the horse light and healthy. Nowadays we have some warmbloods, Haflingers, Arabians, Friesian and all these horses we try to ride them with very fine aids. We keep them in balance and it is possible. If you have a good healthy horse, it doesn’t matter what kind of breed. They all can be ridden in lightness and balance on high level.
Does the horse needs to have a skill that is the most important for you? AB: Brains. I had so many horses without a perfect body and with a lot of problems. If they have a good head, than it’s posisble to train them to a high level. You need a horse that fights with you and wants to show himself , than you have a perfect horse. If you have a horse with problems, that spooks everywhere but with a perfect body, you can not do anything with that horse. The head is the most important when training a horse.
What are your plans to spread your knowlegde outside Europe?
AB: There are some plans. I have been in California, Ohio, Memphis. We’ve also traveled to the Emirates (Dubai) to train some students. We went to Argentina, the Philippines, etc.. We try to spread the word worldwide. In Europe we will keep on organizing some clinics. We train riders (our students at Gut Rosenhof) to travel the world and teach riders about classical horsemanship.
The 9th International Workshop in Germany
The workshop is aimed to riders of all levels (both professionals and hobby level) when the horses well-being is in mind. To riders of horses at all ages and all training levels. All kind of horse breeds, rehab horses and problem horses. Meanwhile guests from nearly 20 different countries have attended this exclusive and established workshop at our idyllic training facility Gut Rosenhof. The workshop will take place on the 22nd – 27nd of July 2019.
Breeding horses is big business nowadays. Young horses competitions. Auctions. Stallions shows. What is your opinion in the way horses are bred?
AB: That’s a real problem. We have to be very carefull in the way of breeding. For example dressage riders always want to have very hot horses. They lost the knowledge of how to train a horse in a correct way. If they have a hot horse, they think it is much more easy to train and to do piaffe and passage. They need a horse with a little bit more expression. Now there are horses who are tall, very strong and with almost too much power. They develop problems because of the horses are too hot, too sensitive, too fine. That’s the biggest problem.
The breeders also have to calm down a little because even the top level riders are almost at their limits to ride such types of horses. The horses are too complicated . The riders are not skilled enough to ride such horses. All the breeders they create super fine horses who are such strong movers and at the end nobody can ride them.
That’s what you see during young horses competitions. You need a super skilled professional rider to present those type of horses. And even for them it starts to be diffucult to ride those horses. For example you have many horses who are 3 or 4 years (all stallions) who made the stallion tests. After this they are completely broken. It is too much for a young horse and too early. I have some of these horses in training. Those poor stallions. They were super horses and they create physical problems because the pressure was too much for them.
Do you love working with stallions? AB: Yes, I like them very much because they are very attentive ? It can be good or bad, but for me it’s always good because I like their expression . All the classical movements are normally the movements of stallions when they want to impress the mare . So it is actually very natural.
How long do your horses stay in training? AB: Normally the horses stay for 6-7 years in training. I have many great clients who want to develop the horse in a perfect way. I also train some horses for the circus. One of them arrived when he was three and stayed 8years with me. The horse started his career at the circus and one year ago, when he was 29 he came back .
Is it possible that riders can come and train at your place?AB: Yes of course, but we are for almost 2 years fully booked. They also need to bring their own horse. We do not offer school horses at the training center.
DVD Train the eye
Anja Beran recently released a dvd, where she explains the problems we have nowadays in dressage. The dvd doesn’t give you a solution for the problem, but it tells you very clear the difference between the classical dressage interpretation and the current status in the sports industry.
Training the eye recognising training which is appropriate to the requirements of the horse - YouTube
“My sole aim is to ensure in the course of my life that an increasing number of people become familiar with the art of classical horsemanship which has become a matter of such great importance to me, and that they will also learn to appreciate it. I hope very much that a great number of riders will be able to experience serious enthusiasm for classical horsemanship in its true and original sense.“ ANJA BERAN
Are you looking for the latest stable design, the most flexible trailer, the comfiest saddle, the healthiest feed or the most stylish riding apparel? You can be sure to find what you are looking for at EQUITANA. They will have probably the largest number of equestrian products you could ever find under one roof anywhere. There will be 750 exhibitors from 30 countries, ranging from the big international brands and manufacturers through to many small, innovative exhibitors, presenting their latest innovations and bestselling products.
The silver jubilee edition of EQUITANA, 9th– 27thMarch, brings together the best that the equestrian world currently has to offer. World and Olympic champions, leading athletes, legendary instructors and riders – top-class expertise from the worlds of professional and amateur sport in the fields of dressage, show-jumping, eventing, driving, vaulting, working equitation, Western riding and horsemanship. Never before have so many stars and medallists made their way to Essen.
Visitors can expect a top-class programme, featuring exclusive coaching evenings with Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, her brother, Benjamin Werndl, Ludger Beerbaum and Monty Roberts. There will also be live coaching sessions with Simone Blum, Ingrid Klimke, Isabell Werth, Dorothee Schneider and Julia Krajewski. And of course the show highlights: the new HOP TOP SHOW, “LaOra”, and the vaulting event, Volti-Magic.
In addition, there will be numerous classes, demonstrations and competitions. Over nine days, the seven riding arenas at EQUITANA will feature over 2000 different presentations. You will be able to enjoy over 850 hours of exclusive expertise and entertainment.
Professional Days: 11th – 13thMarch
The three “Professional Days”, 11th– 13thMarch, cater especially for international visitors. With simultaneous English translation of highlights of the daytime programme and evening sessions being provided. This includes the evening shows “Von Bredow-Werndl Live”, “Ludger Beerbaum Live” and the classes with Simone Blum, Isabell Werth, Ingrid Klimke and Dorothee Schneider. In addition, many international breeding associations will be presenting their horses in the daytime programme on “Breeding Day” (12thMarch). You will be able to see the younger generation of sport horses from German breeding organisations and studs on “Sport Horse Day” (13th of March).
Premiere with power: “Von Bredow-Werndl Live, Powered by Lami-Cell”, 11thMarch
For the very first time, it will be possible to experience the currently most successful siblings in the field of equestrianism. Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and her brother, Benjamin Werndl, in a joint evening show. Jessica became World Champion in September with the German dressage team. Benjamin regularly achieves top placings in international grand prix competitions. But perhaps the most fascinating aspect about them is the way they complement one another as a team.
They train together and also share the running of their stables in Aubenhausen in Bavaria. In their exclusive evening show, “Von Bredow-Werndl Live, Powered by Lami-Cell” (11thMarch), both Jessica and Benjamin will be demonstrating just why they and their horses are so successful. During the course of their 2-hour show, they will also spotlight different aspects of their coaching programme for dressage horses. As well as explaining their methodology and goals, they will also be providing tips on how they keep themselves and their team physically and mentally fit.
Show-jumping legend: “LUDGER BEERBAUM Live
With multiple championship titles to his name, Ludger Beerbaum is already an international show-jumping legend. The multiple world champion and European champion still enjoys an international reputation as trainer and advisor today. Now, for the very first time, Ludger will be presenting an exclusive coaching evening. Together with some of the top riders from his stables. He will be providing insights into his work and sharing his 30 years’ experience in competitive sport and training in “Ludger Beerbaum Live, Powered by Prestige” (12thMarch, 2019). Media partner for the coaching session is the equestrian journal “Pferd und Sport”.
Live coaching with world and Olympic champions
Around 80 instructors, coaches and top athletes sportsmen will be participating in EQUITANA’s daytime programme. The most successful riders from the worlds of dressage, show-jumping, eventing and western riding will be coming to Essen. Personalities include Isabell Werth (presented by Fendt), Simone Blum (presented by Spooks), Ingrid Klimke (presented by SAP), Dorothee Schneider (presented by St Georg), Julia Krajewski (presented by USG), Nicole Uphoff-Selke (presented by Equiva), Jana Freund (presented by Stübben), Sandra Auffahrt, Andreas Kreuzer, Monica Theodorescu, Christoph Hess, Martin Plewa and Nico Hörmann.
“LaOra” – the new HOP TOP Show for EQUITANA 2019
The absolute highlight of EQUITANA is always the HOP TOP Show gala. In this year’s production, “LaOra”, established stars and newcomers will tug at your heartstrings with new and spectacular performances. “LaOra” is full of new and extraordinary ideas, featuring inspiring liberty dressage, quadrilles, dazzling acrobatics on horseback. Colourful performances with ponies, classical elements from the worlds of dressage, show-jumping and carriage-driving. The main focus, however, is always on the deep bond that exists between horse and human. The subtle communication between the two, relying solely on virtually imperceptible signals. By the way, the HOP TOP Show will be held on five evenings this year.
Save by booking your tickets now
By booking online you can save both time and money. Tickets for the exhibition, evening shows, backstage tours or seat reservations are available from the EQUITANA online shop.
Our very first post dated from 26th of february 2014. Time really does fly even though that sounds so cliche. Reflecting on the past 5 years of blogging while writing this post, I wanted to quickly recap where we are now since the first post in 2014 and what this all means to me.
Even though I’ve been doing this for 5 years, really it’s been 3 years that I’ve been doing it full-time and I honestly can’t imagine my life without making my own schedule and being my own boss- it really has been life changing. To be honest, last year I was so bored with my blog and Instagram – beyond uninspired and just doing the routine. After the holidays last year I really evaluated what I wanted for myself and for my brand. I’ve started experimenting with different types of photos and content (some that were very outside my comfort zone but that felt more fresh) and on a whim I changed my Instagram handle to “Equestrian Lifestyle Official”.
Since we started ‘Equestrian Lifestyle” in 2014, an huge number of blogs and instagram accounts have copied our idea and started sharing the latest trends in the equestrian industry. Instead of getting frustrated of all the copied content, we’ve set our focus back on the offline. Organising events and creating a marketing strategy was the goal for the last 2 years. To celebrate our fifth anniversary, we will launch a limited edition collection. Stay tuned for more information.
Romance is in the air! It’s that time of year again when we celebrate everything that’s lovely about being in love. From secretly scribbled love notes to stolen kisses while swaying to your favorite song. Valentine’s Day is all about showing your special someone how much you care. Sometimes the routine of sappy cards, heart-shaped chocolates, and a dozen roses gets old.
If you’re struggling with what to get your significant other this season, we get it! It doesn’t matter if you’ve been together for months, years or decades, sometimes that gift-giving inspiration just needs a little nudge. That’s why we’ve put together this guide, to help you wow your loved one with the perfect present this year.
Equestrian Valentine’s Gift Guide
Needless to say, our Valentine’s Gift Guide of 2019 is equestrian and dusty pink inspired.
The ultimate pink raincoat brightens up any rainy day. Perfect, pretty and practical to wear at the stables or on the streets! Available by House of Horses Helsinki (here)
2. Our favorite dusty pink jacket by Equestrian Stockholm is a musthave in your wardrobe. Stretchy material and a close-to-figure design emphasizing your female shapes in the best way. Available (here)
3. The perfect fashionable layer for cooler days by Fior Da Liso. The stirrup design in pink and white gives the poncho a romantic look. Available (here)
4. Endless love for Gucci loafers. Available (here)
5. With over 25 years of leather working experience, Caroline Groves is one of our favorite traditional bespoke shoe and bag makers. Her creative talent crosses the boundaries between craftsmanship, fashion, art and fantasy. This Monaco clutch will accessories you with pleasure on romantic evenings. Available (here)
6. You can never have too many belts. This one gives a romantic touch to any outfit. Available (here)
For the fist time in six years, the world’s biggest stars will be competing for the FEI Dressage World Cup at Flanders Christmas Horse Show – Jumping Mechelen. Belgian dressage is on the rise and therefore it deserves to be center of attention at Jumping Mechelen.
Dressage eLeague This year Jumping Mechelen also have a real scoop. Using the new ‘Spectator Judging’ app, fans will be able to score the World Cup competitors themselves, in real-time. On a big screen in the main arena, we will show the spectator scores and compare them to the verdict of the jury.
We know that Flanders’ Christmas Horse Show is definitely worthy of hosting an FEI World Cup. No effort was too big to celebrate the return of the World Cup dressage to Malines.
In a thrilling freestyle, we saw Hans Peter Minderhoud and Dream Boy clinch the victory with a score of 83,665%. Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg finished close behind on a score of 82, 880% to take second. And then…there was Maria Caetano with Lusitano Coroado, the revelation of Jumping Mechelen. After a spectacular test, the crowd went crazy. At the press conference we had the chance to ask some questions at this rising dressage star Maria Caetano.
EL: Congratulations Maria, how did you feel about the test? M: It was my first time competing at Jumping Mechelen and it is a big pleasure to be here. My horse was with me every step he took and was fighting to perform, both in the Grand Prix and the Freestyle test. When I entered the arena and he heard the music, he felt very happy and easy to ride. EL: Everybody had goosebumps while watching your test and the crowd was cheering for you and your horse, how does this felt? M: I was very grateful that to feel that the crowd was supporting me so much and I think my horse felt it as well! Coroado wanted to perform as he is a stallion. He likes to show his big neck and wanted to show the Belgium public that he came all the way from Portugal to show nice moves at this big level.
EL: Are you going home after the competition? M: No, I am based in Germany now at Hof Kässelmann and I am training here since October. I am moved to Germany in May to prepare my horse for the competition in Tryon and to compete at CHIO Aachen. But than I decided to stay a little longer. It is hard to be away from my family as I used to train with my father in Portugal. For now it is important to me to stay in the center of Europe, so I have more chances to compete at Grand Prix level. EL: Do you have more horses? M: Yes, I also have some younger horses and I also own the full brother or Coroado, who will be starting to compete at Grand Prix level.
Photo Dirk Caremans
What about the future of dressage at Jumping Mechelen?
President of the FEI Dressage Committee, Frank Kemperman lauded the organization of Jumping Mechelen for hosting the World Cup Dressage in such a great way. It was 6years ago that there was a World Cup dressage in Malines but now they are back on track. There are many candidates for organizing a World Cup. In the next months, everyone who wanted to host a World Cup needs to make a bid at the FEI. Before spring, we have to decide wether it will be organized at Malines or not.
December the first means it’s time to unleash the festivity here on Equestrian Lifestyle. Today I’m kicking off a whole month of festive goodness with an absolute whopper of a gift guide.
The Ultimate Equestrian Christmas Gift Guide. This post is always one of the most requested of the year and the requests seem to come earlier every season so I thought it was about time it arrived on the blog. It doesn’t seem two minutes ago I was planning my summer content yet. But here I am compiling the best of everything, with a little help from Santa this year of course, in the hope you’ll find it just as useful as last year.
French saddle maker Antarès caught my eye with their innovating, esthetic and technological insight. Always on top to serve our sport to its best performance. The Antarès custom nubuck helmets ensure optimal safety and are very lightweight. They are entirely customable. You can choose a wide variety of colors, for the shell, leather head piece and harness. We went for a chique cream and grey colored one.
2. Manifattura Valor
The ultimate luxury for your horse by Manifattura Valor. A distinctive knowledge about the horse’s body combined with supreme tailoring and craftsmanship are reflected in a straight shape and ideal fit. Blankets, halters and accessories made from Manifattura VALOR let you experience a world of maximum comfort and unique feel. Needless to say, this is what we want for Christmas, maybe even for ourselves instead of our horse.
3. Renwick & Sons
Renwick & Sons, a revolution in grooming. Pure indulgence and a musthave gift under your Christmas tree. Since 1798, the family run company has been producing brushware in the heart or rural Northumberland (UK). Equestrian brushware is a new endeavour for the British company. Their aim is to combine years of experience, passion, craftsmanship and the latest technologies. The full grooming kit comes with free worldwide delivery as standard with the last order date for UK deliveries being the 19th of December and the 13th of December for the rest of the world. The grooming kit will be delivered to you in a brilliant white gift box wrapped with ribbon. You can tailer the kit in size, brush strap colour – check out the vintage gold – and embossing. The perfect present for that special someone! (review click here)
One of Equestrian Lifestyle’s favorite sustainable brands is Ariat. The brand creates by far the most highest-quality footwear and apparel for the world’s top equestrian athletes. This all-round boot handles whatever you trow at it, in effortless style. The lateral motion control device provides secure balance. Classic style travels anywhere.
Happy Birthday to CWD! Classic the new chic. With their 20th anniversary, the French saddle maker could not be missed on the Christmas gift guide. At CWD, sport and performance are an obsession. An obsession which can be translated by a full control from A to Z of their chain of values, from the animal skin via the tannery, the making, the selling, the logistics and the after-sales service. And that’s why we love the brand. “Mademoiselle“, a bespoke collection made for women, recognizable by the colored accents. You can personalize your bridle in more than 10 colors. No need to say we love the pink and mint green.
The ultimate chocolate indulgence for dressage lovers. If you have sweet tooth, this is a Christmas gift you will appreciate. Enjoy this beautifully crafted, wooden keepsake box long after the chocolates. The box on the left is a piece titled “The Flirt”. The oval fabric box on the right is made by the same local equine artist Jaime Claire Corum. Tasty!
I hope you manage to tick your Christmas lists off nice and early and maybe even get the chance to treat yourself too!
At Merrie Me, we offer equestrian and outdoor weddings. We want you to enjoy the wedding day of your dreams while we monitor every detail, leaving nothing to chance. Whether it is a small intimate gathering or an extravagant affair, we have the expertise to help make your special day unforgettable.
Merrie Me is a Belgium based event & wedding company, run by Liesbeth Milan and Sandra Van den Eynde. Both creative entrepreneurs with a solid track of record who met each other while working in the equestrian industry. Merrie Me offers a variety of wedding packages to make the planning of your special day a breathtakingly easy affair.
Experience the grandeur of a wedding at an exclusive venue, organized by Merrie Me. Celebrate your special day with your friends, family of just yourselves.
Your wedding is the most important day in your life. We want to create a memorable, personalized experience for you. As talented event- and wedding specialists, we will assist you with every detail in creating your dream wedding. From an elegant ballroom to an outdoor country wedding, choose among our stylish event venues and let Merrie Me create the wedding you have envisioned all your life.