What's Happening: March 2024

Wed, 03/20/2024 - 09:13
Bits 'n Pieces
Katherine Farrell and John Thompson got married

New Zealand Grand Prix team rider John Thompson married his fiancée, Australian dressage rider Katherine Farrell, on 9 March 2024.   Thompson became head rider at Farrell's yard Mulawa Stud in Australia right before the corona pandemic and the two fell in love. The pair got engaged in Paris in September 2022. The couple celebrated their wedding at Spicers Guesthouse in Pokolbin, NSW (hunter valley) with 117 of their closest friends and family in attendance. Their honeymoon will be in Italy in May.  

French Grand Prix rider Guillaume Lundy became a dad for the second time. His wife Marine gave birth to a daughter, Anna, on leap day 29 February 2024. Dressprod reported that the 42-year old Lundy and his wife are already parents of 5-year old Alice.

After his retirement as technical director of the CHIO Aachen, the 69-year old Frank Kemperman is now also retiring from his position as sport director of "Indoor Brabant" (aka The Dutch Masters, aka CDI-W 's hertogenbosch). Kemperman ran that show for 22 years and is now passing on the baton to former Olympic show jumping champion Jeroen Dubbeldam. Kemperman will not be totally gone. He'll remain involved as an "adviser" while his son Joris Kemperman will get a bigger part to play.

American dressage family Natalie Hamilton-Hinnemann, her junior rider daughter Josephine "JoJo" Hinnemann, and her husband, veterinarian Stephan Hinnemann, have decided to leave California and relocate their sales and training business to the east coast. In June they will move to Gable Acres in Huntersville, North Carolina. "We are super sad to leave all our friends and connections here in CA but know this is the right move for us at our stage in life," Natalie stated.

Polish Grand Prix rider Aleksandra Popławska got married to her partner Dominik Śl Śzak on 16 March 2024. Poplawska runs Clarena Sports Club in Wroclaw, Poland, and has been competing at international Grand Prix level since 2022 with Copernico. She also shows Capo (by Cracker Jack x Alcatraz) in the big tour and Showstar (by Showtime x Michellino) at small tour level.

Nikolas and Kathleen Kröncke in 2019
St. Georg reported that British based German Grand Prix rider Kathleen Keller-Kröncke is pregnant with her second child. The baby is due in May. Kathleen and her husband Nikolas Kröncke are already parents to a daughter, Sofia, who was born in 2021. 

Dutch based Danish Under 25 rider Thea Bech has acquired the 6-year old KWPN bred and NRPS licensed stallion Next One ACB (by Hero ACB x Dream Boy). Bred by Anne-Claire Bongers, the dark bay was licensed with the NRPS society in 2021. He was last competed at L2 level in October 2023. The horse has been bought by Bech and gelded to be focused on sport. Thea also has the full sister, Royal Dream, in her barn.

South African Grand Prix rider Gretha Ferreira is pregnant with baby no 2.  The baby is due in September 2024. Ferreira and her husband Patrick Hausmann are already parents to Leo Hendrik Hausmann, who was born on 6 August 2021. The couple is based at Hofgut Sachtenhorst in Mülheim. Gretha has not competed her number one in the barn, Zidane, in a year. The Danish warmblood recovered from an injury. His last show was the 2023 CDI Hagen. With her second Grand Prix horse Kaliani van het Molenzicht she rode the CDI Hagen last September. 

Catherine Mayer's time riding at Gestut von Bellin, which started in November 2023, proved to be short-lived. She has left her position and her spot has been taken by Peggy Nears. She is familiar with the Berlin area, having ridden for Gestut Bonhomme before under Lena Waldmann and Simone Pearce. "When Simone left I moved with her to Bavaria. Due to the circumstances of leaving the stable of Ritzinger I got the opportunity from Monic Schmidheiny to come to her place," Peggy explained. 


According to Horses.nl Emmelie Scholtens received glowing reviews for the pretty silhouette in which she presents Indian Rock and for her barely visible aids. She believes this is not reflected in her scoring. "I don't criticize the judges, but they contradict themselves sometimes and it makes you wonder what they want to see. On the one hand they say lightness and nose in front of the vertical, but with some this image is lacking and their aids are very visible. I just hold on to what I think is pretty and get satisfaction from that. In the end I hope that the points will get better, but that's the difficult part about our sport."