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Saddling up for Seminar Success!
Saddle fitters and retailers were treated to an insight into the biomechanics of the horse and saddle fitting courtesy of Amerigo’s owner and designer Peter Menet on Tuesday (10 June).
In the enviable surroundings of Irish international show jumper Billy Twomey’s yard, some 17 saddle fitters from 12 retailers were given an overview on the theory of saddle fitting, with Peter wowing the group with his knowledge of the physiology and anatomy of the horse.
Billy, who has been supported by Amerigo for the last 12 years, then gave a demonstration; teaching his working pupil Beth Vernon, before carrying out a tour of the yard.
Darling of the dressage world Charlotte Dujardin OBE, London 2012 Olympic Individual and Team Gold medal holder has given her horses the ultimate in fly repellent, designer clothing – Zebra Striped fly rugs from Irish company Bucas.
Scientific research carried out in Hungary and Sweden proved that the zebra is rarely plagued by flies and insects due to their aphid confusing stripes. Charlotte requested that Bucas explore this and come up with a range of super stripes to keep the bugs away – The Buzz Off Zebra was invented!
So this summer to keep her medal winning horses and recently rescued unwanted foal, free from the buzz of the dreaded bluebottle, Dujardin has them all covered up while they enjoy their well-deserved break in the field. She also wanted to make sure her dogs were equally protected and definitely coordinated!
Kristina Sprehe Sponsored by Uvex
The World Number Two German Dressage rider 27 year old Kristina Sprehe is now sponsored by uvex riding helmets and sports eyewear. Kristina comes from the famous Sprehe equestrian dynasty, and it was her cousin Jorne Sprehe who introduced uvex to the equestrian market just four years ago.
This exceptionally talented rider has enjoyed notable successes such as Team Silver at the Olympic Games in London and European Gold in Herning, Denmark. Kristina very first won Gold in 2002 at the Pony European Dressage Championships.
Kristina is a passionate advocate of helmet awareness, and believes in always putting her helmet on, and setting an exemplary example for others. Just because it is dressage, it is not any less vital than when riding cross country. She says “Many serious injuries could be avoided, just with this simple action”. Tragically in the supposedly ‘staid’ discipline of dressage this is being proved time and time again, with Fiona Bigwood recently suffering a severe head injury.
Kristina trains in Oldenburg on her 13 year old black Hanoverian stallion Desperados with her uncle and will be working closely together with the Design and Development Team at uvex, identifying ways in which to improve and advance products for riders of the future.
"We are proud to work with such a successful athlete" said Falk Pewestorf, MD of the uvex sports group. "Kristina Sprehe embodies equestrian success and will be a vital member of the uvex Team”.
uvex and Zebra Products now sponsor over 50% of both the German and British Medal Winning Dressage Teams between them, including Laura Tomlinson and Michael Eilberg and are at the forefront of supplying riders with helmets that they want to wear, and not just have to wear.
Recent moves by so many leading riders across the disciplines who are voluntarily deciding to wear standard safety helmets as opposed to the ‘old hat’ top hats is a triumph of sensibility over vanity.
Nicola Wilson Reaping Rewards from Amerigo Partnership
Leading Italian saddle brand Amerigo has teamed up with International event rider Nicola Wilson to provide its precision dressage and jumping saddles for her string of horses.
A member of the silver medal winning eventing team at the London 2012 Olympics, riding Rosemary Search's Opposition Buzz (Dodi), this well-loved rider/horse partnership has had a long and very successful career. Dodi is now retired from 4* events but Nicola has a host of exciting up and coming young horses who are already achieving notable results wearing the Amerigo Vega range of saddles that incorporate a specially created synthetic tree.
What a month it has been for the Zebra team of riders.
Badminton Winner Sam Griffiths and his horse Paulank Brockagh came out on top after conquering the toughest course and weather conditions that Badminton has seen for many years.
Sam Griffiths has regularly been in the top 15 placings at four star, with the best of these being fourth place on Happy Times at Badminton in 2011.
Paulank Brockagh made her four-star debut at Badminton a year ago, where she finished 43rd. A year on, an improved dressage score of 46.3pen on Friday saw them finish the first phase in 25th equal, and at that point Sam couldn't have forseen himself lifting the famous Mitsubishi Motors trophy.
"I thought if I did well in the cross-country, I'd move up, but I had no expectation of being on top of the podium," said Sam. "She jumped beautifully and to my surprise, here I am."
Paulank Brockagh is only the fourth mare to win Badminton, and the first since Lucinda Fredericks and Headley Britannia in 2007.
"She's one tough nut," said Sam, who bought the mare in 2010 "She's so careful and tries her hardest. She's got a massive heart," he added. Riding in an Amerigo saddle and head protected by Uvex, Sam gets our vote for Zebra rider of the month!