What's Happening: February 2024

Tue, 02/13/2024 - 08:41
Bits 'n Pieces
Carmen Franco makes her international Grand Prix debut on Vangens Star-Light  at the 2023 CDIO Wellington :: Photo © Astrid Appels

After two decades of having lived in the U.S.A. Colombian dressage rider Carmen Franco is returning home to Colombia.  After her graduation as an architect in 1991, Carmen decided to devote her life to dressage. She moved to Germany and became a certified "bereiter" under Gerd Rietbrock. She returned to Colombia in 1995 and became a competitor, trainer, judge, and member of the Dressage Technical Committee. A four-time Colombian champion and team gold and individual silver medal winner at the 2001 Bolivarian Games, Franco moved to the U.S.A. in 2004 where she worked as a professional rider. Her last base was at Mary Anne McPhail's farm in Loxahatchee, FL. In 2023 she made her international Grand Prix debut on Vangens Star-Light. On 10 February 2024, Franco moves back to Colombia. "My family needs me, and I need it for myself too," she took to Facebook. "I leave part of my heart here, many great friends that became family, and so many great memories! I have learned tons too, about life and, of course, horses."

British professional rider Emma Jamieson has left Haras de Malleret after one year on the job and is now working for Jessica von Bredow-Werndl. Jamieson first worked for Sarah Millis and has trained with Richard and Nicky Barrett as well as Michelle and Mette Assouline before moving to France to ride for Malleret. She has now moved on to Germany.

Austrian team pony Delightful Drogba, a 10-year old German riding pony by D-Day x Dance Star, has found a new rider in Poland. Competed by Austrian Amida Wikus at the 2022 European Pony Championships in Strzegom, Drogby will now continue his sport career under Polish 13-year old Sonia Blachowska. She trains with Agniezska Lesica and has found an exciting schoolmaster in Drogba through an advertisement on Eurodressage.

Bernhard Thoben
Bernhard Thoben, who resigned as breeding director of the Oldenburg breed society, has accepted the job as marketing person at Paul Schockemöhle's yard. In 2021 Thoben succeeded  Dr Wolfgang Schulze-Schleppinghoff as Oldenburg breeding director in Vechta but after three years was seeking "new challenges". Schockemöhle stated: "Bernhard Thoben brings outstanding professional expertise and a high level of motivation. This makes him a very good fit for our marketing team."

Estonian Lisette Kivro has ended her pony time on the 12-year old Estonian bred McGregor J (pedigree unknown) and passed on the ride to 11-year old Carmen Sõlg. Lisette and Carmen both train with Estonian Olympian Dina Ellermann. Kivro competed internationally from 2021 through 2023. At the 2022 European Pony Championships they were 47th in the individual test with 66.892%.

The ministry of agriculture in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern announced that Christoph Seite has been fired from his job as the managing director of the Redefin State Stud effective immediately. In office since October 2020, Seite was the stud manager and "put the stud on the right track."  The Minister of Agriculture Til Backheus did not disclose why the 54-year old Seite was suddenly thanked for the job. Kristin Romanowski is fulfilling his duties ad interim.

Franka Loos
Dutch dressage rider Franka Loos gave birth to her first child on 9 January 2024. It's a boy and parents Franka and Willem van Kampen named their son Vic Cees Jan van Kampen. Loos' biggest success was aboard young horses Las Vegas and Racoon. She finished fifth in the finals with both at the 2021 and 2022 World Young Horse Championships. Loos mainly competes at national level in The Netherlands. Her last CDI start at FEI level was in 2018.

At the 2023 Westfalian pony stallion licensing in Munster another licensed stallion tested positive to medication. The stallion Dallas County (by D-Gold x FS Don't Worry) tested positive to Meloxicam (NSAID). Bred by Helmut Eickhorst and presented and owned by Timo Coldewey of Gestüt Kastanienhof, Dallas County has now lost his licensed status, but will get an opportunity to be represented at a later licensing. Coldeway told Reiter & Pferde he has no idea who the drug got into his pony's system.

A legal dispute between the former managing director Heiner Kanowski and the German Oldenburg Breed Society (GOV)came in front of the Oldenburg Labor Court and the court has ruled in the first instance. The dispute involves the termination of the employment relationship to the detriment of Kanowski as well as a claim for damages brought by the Oldenburg Association against Kanowski. At the end of the chamber hearing on 17 January  2024, the Oldenburg Labor Court ruled in favour of Kanowski. The GOV's claim for damages were judged to be unfounded. The GOV board made the decision to appeal the verdict.