Wellington, FL (January 20, 2014) – After a week of record-breaking rains, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect for a night of jumping under the lights Saturday, January 11, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Crowds filled the arena to watch the sixth FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival’s (FTI WEF) $75,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes.
The women’s team, captained by Candice King, included Pippa Allen, Nicole Bellissimo, Danielle Goldstein, Brianne Goutal, Lauren Hough, Maggie Jayne, Laura Kraut, Catherine Pasmore, and Debbie Stephens. They rode head-to-head against the men’s team in a speed round, a match race, and a six-bar competition. This was Danielle Goldstein’s first time ever on the team, which she helped earn its sixth consecutive victory.
“I was thrilled to be asked to be a part of it,” said Goldstein, who rides for Israel. “I rode Waliba VDL. It’s not only fun to do these classes, but our sport is often sorely lacking in spectators, and this class is a great way to get the crowd into it.”
Indeed, the crowds watched the exhilarating rounds with bated breath, groaning as rails fell, erupting in cheers and applause for each clear round. Even spectators who knew nothing about riding, horses, or show jumping were clearly caught up in the thrilling spectacle.
“This night in particular was extra exciting because the two teams were tied going into the last round, the six-bar. We girls didn’t pull it off until the last round, so it definitely kept us on our toes,” Danielle said. “To us riders and people involved in the sport, show jumping is very exciting by its very nature. That’s because we know the other riders and the horses so well, we know how and who to root for. To outsiders, it’s not always as thrilling, so classes like these, based on speed and team spirit, are much easier to get into. As riders we need to give back to our sport as often as possible.”
Danielle Goldstein is one rider who does often give back to the community. She’s the head of Starwyn Farms and the founder of the groundbreaking International Equestrian Education series. The program is open to all members of the equestrian industry and local community who would like to increase their knowledge of equestrian sport, horse care, and international competition.
Working in conjunction with WEF, Danielle and her partner, David Krum, offer a five-week course at Starwyn Farm in Wellington during the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian festival. Participants learn from top industry professionals on a wide range of topics such as horsemanship, stable management, FEI standards, jumper course design, veterinary care basics, and business essentials. Graduates earn the Starwyn Certificate for Equestrian Education. With the collaboration and support of the Winter Equestrian Festival, scholarships to the International Equestrian Education series will be available to anyone over the age of 15. The Winter Equestrian Festival will award 10 scholarships to the series during the 2014 circuit. The scholarships are open to any individual interested in learning more about the equine industry or advancing their skills in horsemanship. To apply for the scholarships, visit www.enrollhorsecourse.com for scholarship details and to fill out an application.
“When I moved up to the professional level, after being a Junior rider, I found there was a huge gap in my education,” Danielle said. “There were a lot of things others had done for me, and now I was supposed to know how to do all of it myself, and I didn’t. It was an eye-opener. I don’t want others to have to go through the same thing. This course teaches practical knowledge. It’s geared towards people who want to find employment in the performance end of the industry. The goal is to prepare someone to work in or run a show barn.”
For more information on Starwyn Farms, Danielle Goldstein, or the International Equine Education program, visit www.starwynfarms.com