March 4: The Pony World Weekly

March 4: The Pony World Weekly

A fresh face helps #TeamUSA take home their first Nations Cup win of the year; a fatal barn fire devastates German Olympic dressage rider Sönke Rothenberger's yard; Dani Goldstein takes on cyberbullies like a boss, and more—all this week in the #PonyWorld!

Nina Fedrizzi


Quote of the Week

“It’s good to be different. Embrace individuality. There’s no reason we all have to look the same.”

—Our perpetual #WomanCrush Danielle Goldstein took on the haters this week to stand up for individuality in sport. Check out her full comments, below, and learn more about Dani’s training program on the PonyApp blog now!

Danielle Goldstein & Lizziemary (c) Claire Simler/WebStallions

USA! USA! USA! America Takes Home First Nations Cup Win of 2019 at WEF


The Story

A U.S. team made up of Beezie Madden, McLain Ward, Adrienne Sternlicht, and rookie Wilton Porter took home the gold medal this weekend in the $150,000 Nations Cup CSIO4* during Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) Week 8. Ireland finished second, Canada third.

Team USA climbs the podium during the $150,000 Nations Cup CSIO4* (c) Sportfot/ World of Show Jumping

Wait, didn’t we just have a Nations Cup in Wellington?

We did. The CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ took place at Deer Ridge Farm in Wellington during the Palm Beach Masters Series (February 13-17). Mexico won. The U.S. received 80 points. This weekend’s Nations Cup at WEF doesn’t count toward Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Finals, meaning the U.S. still sits behind Mexico's 100 points with… 80 points. The top two teams in the North and Central & Caribbean division will qualify for the Finals this fall.

So who came out on top?

The new guy. Wilton Porter, 25, was making his debut appearance on a senior Nations Cup team and hit it out of the park, riding the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding Caletto Cabana to a double-clear performance—the only team member to do so. “I’m honored to have been able to ride with three riders who have gold medals in senior championships,” Porter said. “I definitely felt like the rookie coming into it, but I have a great horse and he gave me a lot of confidence to get the job done tonight.”

PonyApp Take

Porter wasn’t the only fresh face to appear for #TeamUSA this weekend. The class offered a prime opportunity for Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland to test out seasoned riders with new partners for the year, among them Madden on Abigail Wexner’s Chic Hin D Hyrencourt who finished on a score of 4/0. Madden has been paired with the 11-year-old SBS gelding since July. Ward also rode Reed Kessler’s former mount, the 10-year-old DSP gelding, Contagious, to a score of 0/4. “He’s not really gone two rounds like this before this evening,” Ward said of the talented gelding, with whom he earned a CSI4* and a CSI5* win last season.

On a score of 9/4, Sternlicht had the toughest job of the evening aboard the 14-year-old OS gelding Toulago, who struggled at the water jump. “I heavily relied on my teammates tonight for our win, so I’m grateful,” Sternlicht said after the class.

Both Ward and Madden seemed happy with their horses, who rose to the challenge of the Nations Cup format and laid down solid results to boot. For Ridland, the class provided the chance to see how new combinations would fair under the bright lights and international pressure ahead of the second, Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ competition in Coapexpan in May.

If You Can Only Watch One Round…

Watch the Flying Frenchman Soar in Doha

Julien Epaillard saved the best for last on Saturday at the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) Doha, where his third, impressive performance of the week on Usual Suspect D’Auge proved out—with a sizeable paycheck—in the LGCT Grand Prix of Doha. What’s more, the Frenchman beat out 2018 LGCT Championship-winning pair Ben Maher (GBR) & Explosion W, also in fine form, with this killer roll-back turn to the Exon Mobile vertical. Bravo!

This Just In...

Multiple Dressage Horses Perish at Rothenberger Farm in Germany

Sönke Rothenberger & Cosmo at the 2017 European Championships. (c) Peter Nixon/Horse & Hound

A devastating barn fire was responsible for the death and injury of multiple dressage horses this week at Gestut Erlenhof yard in Bad Homburg, Germany, home of 24-year-old Olympic rider, Sönke Rothenberger. Sönke’s gold medal-winning Olympic mount, Cosmo, was among the horses rescued from the blaze. “It is already clear that we have lost a large part of our life’s work: our riding hall, our stable, several young and retired horses,” the family said.

In the Headlines

Detective John Reilly & Trooper. ©James Estrin/New York Times

After 10 years, two of Central Park’s most visible figures, Detective John Reilly and his horse, Trooper, will retire from the force together this week. “He’s put up with my singing and my bad jokes,”  says Reilly in this charming, heartfelt read from The New York Times.

Pony Social

Dani Goldstein Has No Time For Cyber Bullies and You Shouldn’t Either

The Internet can be a brutal place, and for most public figures, ignoring the occasional nasty comment (or 12) is par for the course. But after reading repeated criticisms of her hair feathers and apparel choices this week, Israel’s Danielle Goldstein decided to do something about it. Her message? Be yourself and be kind, and, can we just say, equestrian sport needs more of this. Bravo Dani!



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