There is a new face on the Florida event scene this winter – 27-year-old Swiss eventer, Felix Vogg, who is based in Radolfzell, Germany – just north of the German-Swiss border. Vogg is no stranger to international eventing having competed at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, 2014 World Equestrian Games, and multiple European Championships, but Rocking Horse Winter II in Ocala, Florida was his first foray into U.S. eventing.
When first asked what brought him to Florida, Vogg joked that is was the weather! But it was actually Nadine Beck, his persuasive aunt who convinced him to cross the Atlantic. “My aunt is living in the states,” explained Vogg. “She is living in Minneapolis and she is based over the winter in Wellington. She is an amateur show jumping rider with three horses. She wanted every year for me to come visit her. I came last year to visit her in Wellington and she said this year that I should come with the horses and I said ‘no, no, no’. New Year’s Eve she said I had to come so we decided that I would.”
Vogg brought one event horse over, Colero, a 10-year-old Westphalian gelding (Captain Fire x Bonita) owned by Jürgen Vogg who just moved up to the CIC3* level last fall.
“I want to try with him for [the World Equestrian Games at] Tryon,” continued Vogg. “But he is quite green still and not experienced, so I thought this would give him a chance to start earlier in the season and get more experience. I will try [for the WEG], but if it doesn’t work then it is fine as well because he is a good future horse.”
In their first U.S. start, Vogg and Colero won the Open Intermediate-B division at Rocking Horse Winter II in Altoona, Fla. Scoring a 23.9 in the dressage and adding just 2.8 time penalties on cross-country to win the class by 6.4 points.
Watch their cross-country round thanks to the Horse Pesterer, David Frechette.While winning was the cherry on top, Vogg said his first U.S. event was a good experience. “It is completely different, the conditions and everything – ground, weather, everything. I think it is really good because in Germany and specially not in Switzerland we don’t have so many competitors. I think it is a good system that you have so many national classes. There is always a step in between if you go from two-star to three-star you can first ride an Advanced in between so you don’t have such a big step. I am impressed of the horses – really good horses. I like it.”
While Vogg traveled from Europe alone, he knew a few U.S.-based eventers already and has made several new friends. “I went first to Liz Halliday-Sharp’s for training cross-country before heading to Rocking Horse,” said Vogg. “I also met the week before Phillip Dutton and Boyd Martin and did some canter work with them and watched some show jumping classes while they were training in Wellington. I knew Boyd already from Rio and Luhmuhlen. When I got to Rocking Horse I met Sharon White I knew because I sold a student of hers a horse once.”
Next week Vogg is riding some show jumping rounds on a pure show jumper he brought as well and then he is headed to the Red Hills International Horse Trials in Tallahassee, Florida. Vogg will then move from his current base with his Aunt in Wellington to Boyd Martin’s farm in Aiken, South Carolina. From there he will compete at the Carolina International CIC3* in Southern Pines, N.C., and WEG test event at The Fork CIC3* in Tryon, N.C. Red Hills, Carolina, and The Fork are all part of the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series.
After not running in 2020 and 2021, the MARS Bromont CCI Three-Day Event returned to the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Center in Quebec, Canada, in 2022. America's Jennie Saville (née Brannigan) and Twilightslastgleam won the CCI4*-L, as the chestnut Thoroughbred gelding (National Anthem x Royal Child) bred and owned by Nina Gardner moved up from eighth after dressage into the lead after cross-country with the fastest round on wet ground over the tracks designed by Derek di Grazia. Canada's Lindsay Traisnel and Bacyrouge, a bay Selle Français gelding (Mylord Carthago x Lelia) owned by Patricia Pearce, finished second, and they are among four from the top-10 in the CCI4*-L in 2022 that return in 2023.
Hannah Sue Hollberg of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, was on a winning streak at the Essex Horse Trials on Sunday, claiming victory in both the $10,000 Open Intermediate and Open Preliminary divisions with two horses that are fairly new to her. Some difficulty on cross-country did not stop her mount Hachi from claiming victory in the Open Intermediate with a score of 101.6, while Open Preliminary partner Rockster finished on his dressage score of 27.3.
The great football coach Vince Lombardi said, “We win our games in practice.” With the goal of having the most effective practices possible for horses, their riders, and their coaches, Cathy Wieschhoff explains some signs that can indicate when horse and rider should repeat an exercise, switch it up, or be done with that activity. Wieschhoff brings perspective as a five-star rider that has competed at the Kentucky Three-Day Event and Burghley Horse Trials, a USEF “R” Course Designer for eventing cross-country and show jumping, a former Area VIII chair and member of the USEA Board of Governors, and a Level V USEA ECP Certified Coach based out of Carriage Station Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the FEI Eventing Nations Cup Poland CCIO4*-NC-S at the Strzegom Horse Trials (Poland) from June 21-25, 2023. The team will be under the direction of USEF Eventing Emerging and Development Coach Leslie Law.