Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024

Interviews

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Mark Bellissimo, 55, is the founder, managing partner, and largest shareholder of a series of equestrian related entities which are focused on creating sport, entertainment, lifestyle, and commerce centered around the love of horses.

The new executive director of the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association, Janet Greenlee, doesn’t have a name familiar to most USHJA members. Greenlee, 59, has spent her career in communications and business management largely outside the equestrian world. She’ll start her tenure at the Association on Jan. 2, but is attending the USHJA Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Ga., held Dec. 8-12.

Sue Blinks first became a household name in the international dressage world with the expressive Flim Flam. Blinks and Flim Flam won team bronze at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and were part of the silver medal-winning team at the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games (Spain).

Blinks, 55, and her current Grand Prix partner, Robin Hood, have won CDI Grand Prix classes in California, Quebec and Ontario. Based out of Leatherdale Farm West in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., Blinks is a popular clinician and trainer, in addition to her riding duties.

There aren’t many eventers out there with more three-day wins than William Fox-Pitt of Great Britain, and he’s currently one four-star away from winning the Rolex Grand Slam. He’s agreed to a series of interviews and updates as he prepares for the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton CCI****.

You’ve had a tremendous season so far with a four-star win in Kentucky, team silver at the London Olympic Games and now a victory in the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International CCI***. How do you feel it’s gone?

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Situated in the middle of horse country, Plantation Field has steadily grown from a local horse trials into a destination event. This past weekend riders flocked to Unionville, Pa., from up and down the East Coast to participate in the CIC and horse trials. Joanie Morris had the chance to sit down with organizer Denis Glaccum and landowner Katie Walker to discuss the evolution of the event, what it means to the community, and what it can do for the sport of eventing.

How did you end up having this event here on this wonderful piece of land?

After watching Union Rags win the Belmont Stakes (N.Y.), I listened to trainer Michael Matz speak to the press about the race. I wondered why Matz, who rode on three Olympic show jumping teams, earned team silver in 1996, and was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame for his many, many accomplishments, made the switch from show horses to race horses.

On Aug. 31, the U.S. Equestrian Federation announced the organization’s new president: Chrystine Jones Tauber. She’ll begin her four-year term in January of 2013. Current president David O’Connor has served as the USEF president since 2004.

Canadian show jumper Eric Lamaze is preparing for the 2012 London Olympic Games, and he's agreed to a series of interviews and updates. Read about how he chose his Olympic mount, what he thinks his chances are for a repeat medal, and what his predictions are for the final result.

How have you been preparing for the Olympic Games?

We just got back from Calgary, Alberta, and I spent last weekend in San Patrignano. Italy.

Carl Hester famously got his start in the equestrian world aboard a donkey on the tiny Channel Island of Sark, located 80 miles off the British coastline, where there are no cars. His big break came in 1989 when he began working for Dr. Wilfried Bechtolsheimer, who provided Hester with Grand Prix horses. In 1990, Hester went to the first World Equestrian Games on Rubelit von Unkenriff in Stockholm, Sweden. He rode in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games on Georgioni at the age of 25, the youngest British rider to ever compete in the Olympics.

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